We ran into some Dolphins players at some restaurants and bars we went to last night. One of them was Tommy Vigorito, an old friend I roomed with at the East-West Shrine all-star game. You don't talk about football. You wish each other luck at the end of the conversation. Or you ask if he is married yet or how are things going, just a quick update on what he's been doing.
There is a strange feeling if you run into someone you are playing against and you don't personally know him. He knows who you are and you know who he is but you don't say very many words, if any. Just a little nod of the head, that's it. We ran across Fulton Walker, one of the Dolphins' defensive backs. We acknowledged each other, okay you're Fulton Walker, I'm Russ Grimm and that's it.
Night life in California is different. I'm used to a small-town rural bar; here it tends to be more dressy and more of a singles atmosphere. It's not really a rowdy thing either; more of an atmosphere that you would have at a party at your house. It's not like back east, where you go out to a bar to have a good time and be a little rowdy. Here, it's like the bar is on the way home, so they stop for a quick drink.
Fans are starting to come into the hotel. The first few days, there were only a few here or there, but if you came through the lobby today, the place was packed. People were dressed up in Redskins outfits, Redskins jackets; they were dressed up as Indians with all kind of buttons and stickers all over them.
They are asking everyone for autographs. I don't mind people asking me for mine, but it's funny, sometimes when we are all together, people hesitate to come up and ask. You can see them looking at you and eventually they will come over and talk about a different subject and then they'll say, "Oh, by the way, can I have an autograph for my son." I'll sign autographs, because I can remember when I was a kid and I collected autographs and someone would ignore me. It only takes three or four seconds to sign one and it makes them feel better.
But the atmosphere isn't anything like I've seen, not like a bowl game or anything. It's the game, the No. 1 watched show. The players realize that. Everyone is having an enjoyable time, but we know what's at stake. It's getting time to be serious.