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Media Meltdowns

Grown Man Spitting Mad That Youth’s Autograph Not Cool Enough

Screenshot via ESPN

Florida tight end Kyle Pitts kicked major ass during the coronavirus-shortened 2020 college football season, scored 12 touchdowns in eight games, won the John Mackey Award for the nation’s top tight end, and earned unanimous All-American recognition. Pitts is now headed for the NFL, where he is expected to be selected early in the upcoming draft. His college career is over. As such, for the very first time in his life, he is allowed to autograph merchandise for money without imperiling his chosen career. Neat!

Pitts availed himself of this opportunity when he recently signed a set of 2021 Leaf Draft Football cards. Perhaps you, like me, do not care too much about trading cards, because you are a grown-up. Perhaps you have never been very into the whole autographed memorabilia thing. Perhaps you, because you are normal, consider whatever is special about autographed memorabilia to be the fact of it having been autographed, which certifies the item’s direct contact with its famous subject. Probably therefore you would not require or particularly give a rip how many syllables are represented by the autographer’s scrawl. My wise and equable and normal friend, you are not Action Network sports business reporter and known butthead Darren Rovell.

Pitts’s “KP” autograph is indeed very bland. Anyone with the initials KP could have an identical autograph, and anyone could forge Pitts’s workmanlike KP. Certainly there is nothing “cool” or “majestic” about this autograph. Couple of things: First, this is not something for any even half-serious person to give a shit about for even one full minute of their life; second, I am told by Defector idiot and trading card business-knower David Roth that card companies authenticate these autograph sessions by having them overseen by “someone from the company, or working as a freelancer for the company,” and it would be that person’s job to flag an autograph that looks like the signer is half-assing it. For that matter, if Leaf gives incomplete instructions or provides lousy oversight and winds up with an unsuitable product, they are free to halt distribution. In all cases, if you are piping mad about the uncoolness of the autograph on a 20-year-old’s football card, the entity to take it up with would be the card company, and probably also a therapist.

Rovell’s garbanzo-sized brain may be mostly sawdust, but it for sure contains knowledge of how this card stuff works. He chose to scold Pitts and not Leaf, about the autograph and also on behalf of Leaf, because on top of being a moron he is also a weasel and a dick.