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O. J. Howard during 2016 SEC Media Days Wednesday at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama.

Making my way down the escalator for the first time at SEC Media Days in Hoover was a bit unnerving. I guess I wasn’t prepared for all the people standing there in the lobby looking up at you.

I can’t imagine what that’s like for the players and coaches.

I’m sure many of the veteran coaches are used to the staring by now, but for the players and new coaches, the pack of people — largely adult men — waiting for them has to be discomforting.

I guess I don’t have a problem with people hanging out in the lobby as long as everyone is civil, but be mindful. Seeing kids’ faces light up when their heroes came by was touching.

Make sure you’re not taking that away from kids. Make sure you’re not diminishing a kid’s experience by muscling them out of the way so you can be inches closer to Gus Malzahn, Nick Saban or whomever you revere.

This goes for autographs, too. I hate when I see people simply trying to make a quick buck off stuff like this. That experience should really mean something to more than your wallet.

Who knows, Leonard Fournette signing a little boy’s football might be the start of another Heisman Trophy-like career. That’s definitely worth more than a few hundred dollars.

Contact Anniston Star Sports Correspondent Maria McIlwain at