Thought some of y'all might get a kick out of this. Yesterday after the basketball game, I took one of my coworkers and my youngest stepbrother-in-law to the shooting range down in Duncanville, since it was such a nice afternoon. We pulled up in the parking lot and saw a few guys in the gray BCSCG windsuits. They were immediately recognizable: Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, Javier Arenas and (I 'm 90% sure) Robert Lester. The only available lanes were right next to them, so of course we jumped right in.
I'd brought along my Mosin-Nagant M44 carbine (a Soviet-era infantry rifle; mine was made in 1944). It's always the loudest gun at the range, and it has a muzzle flash about 2 feet long. It's an attention-getter, so of course I loaded it right up and fired off a couple of rounds. As usual, everybody in the vicinity stopped firing and started staring in my direction. Julio wondered what in the world it was, so I told them about the gun and offered to let them fire it. Julio was eager to shoot it, and he fired off five rounds. I offered it to Javy, but he wasn't sure what to think--"Nah, man, that's cool." Ingram didn't want to shoot it either. The recoil's not bad--about like a 30-30. It fires 7.62x54R ("Rimmed Russian") rounds, which are huge, but I think the weight of the weapon is what keeps the felt recoil down. Still, I guess the noise and the flash are enough to discourage some folks from firing it.
The guys were shooting some Javy's guns, as well as anyone else's they were curious about. As expected, there were quite a few photo- and autograph-seekers, and the players were all very friendly and gracious toward their fans. I didn't have anything to sign, and I'd left my phone at home, although I did get my brother-in-law's picture with each of the players, which really made his day. For myself, I guess having worked for the football team several years ago has made me a little less starstruck when seeing these guys in public. I just enjoy talking with them for a few minutes.
Incidentally, I asked Javy about his hamstring, and he said he'd torn it. I didn't ask anything further, but I sure hope it's not bad enough to hurt him in the draft.