Jerod Mayo, "New England's hottest linebacker" visited Market Basket in New Bedford Tuesday as a promotional guest of Popchips, to meet fans and sign autographs. It seems he's a big fan of the all-natural, 'popped' chip and has them delivered to Gillette Stadium for the players to snack on. Good choice.
In the few minutes I spoke with him, Mayo graciously talked about his favorite charity, Pitching in for Kids, and mentioned how important it was for him to give back to the community. Whenever asked, he tries to do what he can for any organization that helps kids, and that also includes making himself available for teammate's charitable events when possible.
Mayo was an affable, class act as he greeted the fans, stood for photos and patiently signed pretty much anything put before him, sometimes asking, "are you sure?" before making it permanent with the sharpie. It was a hoot just watching how he handled the revved-up, steady stream of giddy fans who came out to see him. Far beyond the usual hats and jersey's, here is a list of the items and body parts he was asked to sign, just in the hour I was there:
- A baby (yes, a baby)
- A man's forehead - so he could go back to work and show it to the guys.
- A man's leg - below a Pat Patriot tattoo, designed and inked by his friend.
- A young woman's wife beater - after lifting up her sweatshirt and showing him where.
- Christmas Cards - addressed to the guy's friends as if they were from Mayo.
- Clothing items - Jackets, jeans and t-shirts - as they were being worn.
- Footballs and football cards
- Name tags - nearly all the store workers
- Posters, pictures, pennants and copies of Patriots Football Weekly
His presence definitely attracted a lot of attention from the Patriots fans in the crowd of shoppers, and caused a palpable excitement within the store. As he told Karen Guregian,
It’s always better when we’re winning," Mayo said. "You get the vibe from people around your neighborhood, the people around the community, that they’re happy with the things we’re doing on the football field. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling."
"The fans out here are great, even if we’re coming off a loss," he said. "They always support us, tell us to keep our head up, keep going. But at the same time, you still feel that vibe, that playoff talk in the crowds, things like that. But these fans are great anyway."