Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Neal Pictures of the Week (Ontario Autograph Session Edition)

This week's pictures are fairly "NEW" and courtesy of Sarah W., my new friend I found on tumblr (because we have similar interests in Mr. Neal!)!

Not only did she post a few great pictures of Nealy (below), but she was kind enough to share her story of how she met (and got her picture taken with) James at a recent signing:
James Neal did a signing at AJ Sports World in Vaughan, Ontario on July 26th, 2011. I had heard about it on Tumblr from another Penguins fan I was following.
I arrived at the store an hour and a half early, expecting there to be a huge line up. But I was the only person in the store. My Dad and I had to buy some things for James to sign, so we didn't mind being too early or the only one's there. I bought a James Neal jersey and puck for him to sign. The only problem was that they didn't have any jersey's in the store that I could have right that very moment. So I ordered one that would come in about a week, and they have me the number 8 (out of his number 18) for him to sign.
As I was in the office in the back filling out the form, James Neal walked in with a smile and greeted me and the store owner. Of course, I was freaking out internally, but the owner escorted James to the back where he would wait until the actual signing started. As I walked out of the office and out to my Dad and one of the workers, my Dad said "Sarah, do you realize who that was!?". Good to know my Dad was freaking out more than me.
I stood at the very front of the line as people began to walk in and stand behind me. As time went by I got to talking to the man behind me. He had driven all the way up from Pittsburgh to meet James! He told me that players don't do a lot of public signings in Pittsburgh, especially players like Crosby, Malkin, Fleury and Staal (even though Staal was in AJ Sports in February doing a signing). So, I knew this was worth it.
When 6:30 came around, James walked out in a black t-shirt and jeans wearing a huge smile on his face. He was blushing as he sat down with a employee of the store. Being the very first person to be in line, I walked up to the table and put the number 8 and the puck on the table and gave the yellow tickets to the employee. He attempted to sign the number first, but had difficulty trying to figure out what side of the number to sign. He seemed almost embarrassed, but it was cute. When he finished signing everything, I asked for a picture. He replied with "absolutely" and he jumped to his feet. I put my arm around his back and put my hand on his shoulder. Let me tell you, he has very strong and muscular arms, and to boot he smells amazing.
Corey Perry also did a signing that day (right after James) and when Corey walked in, he wasn't nice like James. He wore sunglasses and didn't greet anyone like James did. It's obvious that he hasn't let his success get to his head, which is refreshing. James Neal is honestly one of the nicest guys I have ever met, and I am very honoured that I got the opportunity to meet him.
Nealy smells amazing ... that just makes my day (he looks like he would!)!! I can only hope to be lucky enough to smell him one day - LOL!! ; P

THANKS for sharing your story and the pics, Sarah (you're so lucky to have met James Neal!)!!

This is an AWESOME picture (he's so darn cute!)!


Lauren said...

So jealous!

Stephanie said...

I KNOW - right?!!! And HE SMELLS GOOD (lol ... I can't get away from that ... nothing much like a good-smellin' man!)!! ; D

AussieGal said...

Nothing makes your day more than a nice smelling man, if only more guys out there realised what a turn on this is they'd get a lot more dates. Nothing but stinky guys in my part of the world :(

stoneyblue said...

Somehow I knew the "smells good" would ring with you (is it bad that it did with me too) don't you just love hearing that he is as nice as you hoped he would be. (and smells good too)

Tammy King said...

I met James Neal after a Pittsburgh game in March of this year. He was so nice to me and my daughters and even posed for a picture with us.

Stephanie said...

You guys KNOW ME SO WELL (and appreciate the same things I do - which is why I LOVE THIS BLOG SO MUCH - the camaraderie!)!!

@AussieGal - I'm around one stinky guy all the time -- my husband (which is one reason why I NEED THIS BLOG and to be able to "gush" about hockey players!)!! Thanks to all of you for the wonderful outlet (I can gush AND get asimilar response!) - it's AWESOME!!

@stoneyblue - I am VERY MUCH HAPPY about the fact that he's as nice as I think he is and it's ok for his smelling good to ring with you too (we're all human and, after continuing to learn this from the blog day-after-day, WE'RE ALL VERY MUCH ALIKE IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER), but just remember who's hockey boyfriend he was first ... LOL!)!!! ; P

@Tammy King - THANKS for sharing that ... I LOVE hearing how people meet players and how nice they are to the fans (MOST Pens players are really generous to their fans) ... you can just look at a picture of Nealy and tell that his smile is very genuine and it makes him come across as very genuine and from what I've hear up to this point, HE REALLY IS GENUINE!!! : D

Stephanie said...

PS -- one other thing that made me fall for him even more was last year after one of the game when Dan Potash interviewed him ... I THINK it was when he scored his very first goal as a Penguin, he said to Dan, "I'm proud to be a Penguin!"

And I just LOVED that!!! I mean, we all knows the Penguins are awesome and that most all players what the chance to come here and play with all the great players here, but for him to admit it and be so giddy and excited about it (like a little boy), it was just so sweet and charming ...

I just HAD to throw that in WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT OF MY NEALY!!!
; )

AussieGal said...

@Steph well then we must have more Nealy pics pronto!!!!

stoneyblue said...

I think he simply must be included in the new banner when it is designed.

Stephanie said...

@stoneyblue - are you talking about the new one for HftL that I mentioned MONTHS ago??? OH YES ... he'll be one of the "featured" players, but WHEN that will be ... I have NO IDEA : (
It's "in the works" with a few other things I have on my plate with this blog as well as other hockey-related writing!!! I vow, before I die, there WILL be a new banner since you guys preferred that and I promised!!! ; D

Lauren said...

Well you must be in 7th heaven right now. James is now on twitter and has his own FB page (and is actually like, contributing to it). Score! Also, don't know if you saw this photo from early July, but... http://schickens.blogspot.com/2011/07/winnipeg-is-like-kazhakstan-antropov.html

gards said...

@Lauren I was just about to come on here and tell you guys he has twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/jneal_18. It's a legit account according to Max "Traitor Face" Talbot.... hahaha. Can you tell I'm bitter towards him?