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» Encounters

Messages in bold AND in parentheses are my own comments.

» Date of Encounter: Sept 20, 2003 . By: Shannon
So the games over and I walk up to the top of section 114 and the wonderful Steph is there with two passes for my friend and I to go meet Landon. It's the usual "I love you for getting these for me" kind of reaction ;) So we go to where we are supposed to meet him, wait in line for a while then they let us in. It's my friend, me, and Steph and Steph is chattin away with Landon so I just stand there. When their done talking we ask for a picture and he says sure so we all go to the other side of the table and hes like "come on, gather around" so my mom takes a few pictures of all of us with Landon and then Steph goes "can I have a hug?" so she gets a hug from Landon so I say what the hell, I will never get this oppertunity again so I say "Can I have one to!" So I get a quick hug while my mom takes a picture. I didn't say much to him, Steph did all the talking, but it was still way cool.
(Great to hear our fellow Donovan Central surfers are meeting up.)

» Date of Encounter: Sept 20, 2003 . By: Steph
I drove down to KC from Minnesota again on September 20th, 2003 for the Quakes vs Wizards game. Before we left, I had emailed the Wizards PR people (at the suggestion of our friend Shannon, a fellow Donovan Central member!) and after pulling a couple strings, got some passes for myself and Shannon and her friend to see Landon after the game at his private autograph session after the game.

So we waited in line for quite a while and finally got up to the table where Landon was sitting at and here's our convo: (Shannon has her own but she'll probably tell you guys later!)

LD: (looks up at me) "HELLOOOO!"
Steph: "Howdy!"
LD:"Did you sneak in again?"
Steph: "Yeah! but this time wasn't as bad as the last time I snuck in"
LD:(laughs and shakes his head) "You are a sneak...such a little sneak! Are you sure you're not some kind of a conartist or something?"
Steph: "Well yeah you know me...hey nice hat trick today"
LD: "I know!"
Steph: "You know!? What do ya mean you know?"
LD: "Er...I mean THANK you! Did you like that celebration as well?"
Steph: "I'd say it was worth the drive"
LD: "You've got quite an accent" (looks at me with a lil half smile)
Steph: (I thought I heard him but wasn't quite sure) "What?"
LD: "You have such an accent!"
Steph: "Yeah...thank you, haha"
LD: "Thank you? Is that an accomplishment or something?" (laughs)
Steph: (imitating him from before) "Er...I mean I KNOW! Can I get a picture with you again? if you have a minute"
LD: "Sure"
Steph: (I went behind the table with the 2 gals I was with, and Landon put his arm around me and when I put mine around him, I accidentally touched the back of his neck with my FREEZING cold hand and he said "BRRRR!"...and then he coughed on me...that was weird. Anyway, then I said) "Hey you smell good today."
LD: " What are you trying to say?"
Steph: "I dunno...well I didn't smell you yesterday did I?"
LD: "True" (then Shannon's mom and my brother were taking pictures of us and when they were done, Landon said) "Whew that was a long time!"
Steph: "Umm...can I give you a hug?"
LD: "Please do" (so he hugged me and it was the best hug ever! He was saying something to me but I couldn't hear because my ear was squashed against his cheek...but I could feel/hear it vibrating...that was weird too, but enjoyable! I was gunna kiss him on the cheek again but I chickened out )
Steph: (I let go of him...reluctantly) "See ya next summer!"
LD: "Yeah have a good night guys" (then I walked away but turned around to see if he would wave...and he did and he said: "Bye Steph!!)
(Pretty funny encounter. Like I said to you Steph, I'd be spitting back sarcastic remarks at him too! It's your last encounter of the year and I must say it was prolly the best I've read. hehe. Thanks so much, sweetie.)

» Date of Encounter: Aug 8, 2003 . Encounter By: Steph
I drove down to KC from Winona, MN on August 8th, 2003 to go see our boy Landon kick some butt. We got to the game about 2 hours early and the stadium was pretty much empty. Landon came out of the locker room and was warming up with some other guys from the Quakes. I went down to the first row with my sign that made me look like a silly teeny-bopper and it said "Stephanie <3's Landon" and luckily he saw the sign within about a minute and he waved at me! woohoo!

Then I turned around to see if my mom saw that, and she was already talking to Landon's dad and Mr. D's girlfriend! (if you read my Landon's Dad Encounter, you'll see that I met them once before) So we chatted for a while...just small talk - but it was still waaay awesome!

After the game, my family and I waited about 30 minutes for the stadium to clear out before attempting to leave. As we got to the top of the steps at Arrowhead, I noticed a HUGE group of people that looked like they were waiting for something. I asked my dad what all that was and he's like "oh a Wizards player is probably going to sign autographs or something" and we walked on.

But then I had a gut I turned around and went up to a gal in that group and I said "excuse me, are you waiting for autographs?" and she said yes, and I said "oh ok, who's signing tonight?" and she showed me this ticket that said "PRIVATE Post-Game Autograph Session featuring LANDON DONOVAN." I nearly keeled over. I ran back up to my dad and said "'s him. PLEASE can we stay???" and at first my dad said no because my whole family and my grandma were there and they wanted to go home...but after a couple minutes they gave in.

So I went back to the big group of people and tried to blend in, and my family went to the parking lot to play soccer and hang out and just wait for me. Just then, a security guard came over to them and said "Ok everyone follow me" so we all did, and he led us to a big fence with a gate and inside that gate was a table where Landon would soon be sitting! I noticed that EVERYONE had a ticket except me, so I decided to take a seat on the curb and wait for Landon to sign 300 autographs, then maybe I could say hi to him. Then a security guard walked over to me and said "excuse me, I need to see your ticket" and I sorta panicked because I didn't have one...but I didn't wanna say I told a tiny little lie and said "Umm...actually, my dad has my ticket and I can't find him right now...what should I do?" and he's like " Well that's ok, I can just give you a ticket" ...WHOA!

So I got a ticket, stood in line with 2 other gals that I didn't know, but they were real nice. (I was like 5th to last out of about 300 people) About 90 minutes later, I was walking into the room where Landon was! I was about to tell him my usual schpeel so he knows who I am, so I started to say "Hey Landon, I'm Stephanie the one that you email..." but he cut me off and said "I know you're Stephanie"

Me: "Ha! Well ok then..." (I handed him one of the autographed pictures that his dad gave me about 2 years's signed on one side but not the other, so I handed it to him so the un-signed side was facing up)

Him: (taking the card) "Where did you get THIS?"

Me: "Your dad gave me those a few years ago"

Him: "...whoa..." (then he sat there for a couple seconds reading the German print that was on the back and stuff...then he turned it over and saw the old signature) "Hey look Steph, it's like almost signed already!"

Me: haha, almost? yeeah well can you sign the back this time?

Him: Yeah that was the crappiest signature ever..." (then starts signing the back but stops and looks up at me) "Well I guess this is a crappy one too!"

Me: "No way man, I like it!" (then I handed him the bracelet I made him in California out of hemp and some wood and coral beads that I got in a store in CA, and the middle one had an engraving in it that meant 'good luck') "Oh yeah, and I made this for you when I was in California a few weeks ago...that means good luck"

Him: "Wow thaaaanks! Hey how do YOU know this means good luck?" (looks at me skeptically but with a little half smile on his face)

Me: (not expecting that question) "Ummm....well I guess you'll have to take my word for it"

Him: "Heehee I guess so...good luck in what?"

Me: " Not that you need it!"

Him: "Nah I meant good luck in what language"

Me :"Oh..." (*mentally hits self on forehead*) "I dunno, probably chinese"

Him: "Probably!? Ok then, I get it"

Me: "And look, I made one for myself too, so we match!" (I showed him that I was wearing the same bracelet)

Him: (looks at it closely) "....awesome!!!"

Me: "Oh can I get a picture with you real quick?"

Him: "Sure" (so I went behind the table and kneeled next to him and he put his arm around me and rested his head against mine...he has NICE arms by the case you all haven't noticed...then we took the picture)

Me: "Thank you very much!" (then I tried to stand up but he squeezed my shoulder, looked me in the eye and said..)

Him: "You're very welcome, sweetie" (then I noticed I should let some other people have a turn with him, so I stood off to the side, waiting for the gal I met while I was in line. He started signing her piece of paper and then looked over at me...) "So Steph, you havin' any fun?"

Me: "Of course! You had a great game!"

The girl asked for a picture, and then started shaking violently and he asked her if she was gunna be ok! lol, then he looked at me over her head as if to say "here we go again" LOL! After she took her picture with him, a security guard said to us "girls, the exit is THIS way." I got the hint and started walking away, I wanted to say goodbye to Landon but he was already signing another autograph, and I didn't wanna take up more of his time, so I kept walking. Then I hear: "BYE STEPH!!!!!!" and I turned around and he was sitting up real straight in his chair, waving at me with his arm straight over his head...aww! And I waved back and said "See ya soon Landon!"
(Another great encounter with Landon. That's so cute that Landon remembered you. Well, thanks so much for that 3rd encounter or 4th encounter with Landon that you've shared, sweetie. lol!)

» Date of Encounter: June 28, 2003 . Encounter By: Steph
Author's note: Please read the beginning of my other encounter before this one about how I know him (SCROLL DOWN) so you don't get confused! :)

Ok, l live in Winona Minnesota, and I got to fly down to San Jose to watch Landon play again on June 28th, 2003. We watched the game and here's what happened at the autograph session. When Landon was a few feet away from me signing autographs, here's what I said:

"Hey..... Landon?"
Him: "yeeeeees?"
Me: "I'm Stephanie....I'm the one that you.... email..."
Him: (big smile right at me) "HI!!!!"
Me: Hey there how are you??"
Him: Good how bout you, good?"
Me: "yahh...."
Him: "Well you're another year older than last year"
Me"Yup! I'm 16 now"
Him "Wow, almost a grown woman"
Me: "Hah almost....hey can I get a picture with you when you have a minute?"
Him: "Oh long are you in town for?"
Me: "Until July 13th, I just got in last night"
Him: (big eyes) "WHOA! That's a loooong time, so are you coming next weekend?"
Me: "Yeah but you're not going to be here right?"
Him: "Well I dunno for sure, first he (Bruce Arena) told me that I wasn't but then all the sudden I'm on the roster so who knows for sure"
Me: "Really? That's crazy! I saw your name on the roster so I thought you weren't going to be here next weekend, that's why I got to come see you now"
Him: Yah I dunno what's going on," (he looks really hot when he's confused)
Me: "Oh ok, well will you email me when you know?"
Him: "Oh of course" (in a high pitched voice)
Me: "Ok sounds I'm not nervous at all anymore"
Him: "Oh were you before?" (totally laughs at me)
Me: "Well yeah...kinda a little"
Him: "Aw don't worry, we're just normal people!"
Me: "Yeah that's true heehee!" (then he had to keep signing autographs so he was kinda inching away...) "Oh can I get a picture with you before you leave?"
Him: "Oh that's right! Sure let's do it" (so then he put his right arm around me)
Me: (I noticed that he should probably keep going) "Ok well I'll email you when I get back tonight"
Him: (enthusiastically) "Ok!!!! bye Steph"
Me: "Alright, see ya later" (oh man I was sooo calm)

Ok then my aunt and I started walking away and we got like 50 yards away and she just stopped in her tracks and said "STEPH! You totally have to ask him to dinner with us! Go back and do it! So I looked back and everyone was leaving so he was like the only one there signing autographs still so I walked right up to him and he's like


and I leaned over and he let me whisper in his ear "We were wondering if we could take you out to dinner tonight since we're both starving and wanted to know if you would like to come"

Him: "Oh!!! well....shoot... I can't tonight, (then whispers) I'm going with Joe Cannon...but definitely another weekend?"
Me: (shocked! but still cool!) "Oh yeah definitely! We'll talk about it"
Him: "Well yeah if I'm here we'll do it!"
Me: (not wanting to take up more of his time) "Ok, I'll email you tonight"
Him: "Awesome, see ya later"
Me: "Yeah...bye!"

So that's the first part of my Landon Encounter, I'll send Tiff the second part when it happens! peace
(That's awesome! You know girl how much I'd die to be there with you in your suitcase. HAHA. Can't wait for the next part!)

» Date of Encounter: June 7, 2003 . Encounter By: Carrie from Perfect 10
On Saturday June 7, I went to the San Jose vs. Columbus game in Columbus. I live in Pittsburgh, so it's about a 4 to a 4 1/2 hour drive. My dad decided to take me to give me a break from studying for finals, and he knew this would be one of the only times that Landon would be in the area of about 6 hours. lol. (Well, except DC but that's goin on during the confederations cup I believe) So anyway, we left EXTREMELY early because we had no idea about traffic or anything. The game started at 7:30, but we got there about 6. lol. I was wearing my Earthquakes jersey, (my little bro was wearing a crew shirt...grrrr...haha) and we went in and took our seats. Unfortunately, I was seated right in the middle of a huge Crew fan mob. (Uh oh!) Our seats were in the 4th row, so they really kicked butt. I went and sat down on the edge of platform, beside the sideline, and just waited for the players to come out while my dad & brother went to get food. I must admit, I was pretty occupied by this pile of match balls that were sitting in front of me, and I didnt even notice when the team came out for warmups! (I'm so stupid! lol) So as I was sitting there, I heard the "Mob" behind me screaming things like "Landon Donovan sucks!" and "My grandma could kick your ass!" Now, I was still zoned out and didnt realize that Landon was STANDING RIGHT BEHIND I yelled back at them, "Ok, you know what? Landon could kick ANYONES ass, and he's my hero so dont you go all talkin that crap when you cant even KICK a freakin soccer ball!" All of a sudden I hear this laughing behind me. I turn around and Landon is standing right there! He was like, "Thats wasnt half bad. I was just gonna come over and say hey because you were a Quake fan out here in Crew country, but heck, you're obviously one of the best around here." I was like, "Gee, thanks! Well, everything I said is true, and you're my hero!" he was laughing a little, and then he gave me a thumbs up and was like "Well, I'm honored. I'm glad to know I'm somebodys hero." I was then on the virge of a mental breakdown as I realized that I was just sitting here casually talking to LANDON DONOVAN! He said, "Well, I've gotta go practice with the guys..." So I said "Score all us Landon Fans a goal!" He started to laugh again and said he'd try his best.

The Crew ended up winning 1-0, and I didnt get my goal, but heck, it was awesome!! I want to talk to him again! lol..
(That was pretty funny. Wish I coulda been there)

» Date of Encounter: Nov 1-2, 2002 (LD Day). Encounter By: MeLinda
11/1/02 - My mom, sister, and I left my house in Chandler, AZ around 11am on Friday. After 320 miles and 6 hours of driving we finally made it to Redlands. After checking into the hotel we drove to the University of Redlands to make sure we knew where it was and how to get there. We tried to find Moore Middle School where the first events were taking place, but it was so dark and foggy that we couldn't find the street it was on. So I went back to the hotel to prepare for the day to come.

11/2/02 (afternoon) - I woke up around 7am and got ready to go to the middle school for the first event. Since I didn't know exactly where it was I left about 2 hours early. It was really easy to find with light and no fog! So I got there at 11, got my ticket for the game that night, got a Landon Donovan Day t-shirt, and waited in my car until about 11:40.

I walked over to the stage where he was going to be and waited until 12:10 when he finally arrived. He was dropped off by a police officer in the middle of the field and proceeded to the stage. His family (mom, sister, brother, and step-sisters) and former coaches were sitting behind the stage and were being introduced. The mayor of Redlands began telling of Landon's accomplishments and his participation in AYSO. Then some kids got to ask him questions. One girl was to shy to ask here question in the microphone so she whispered it to him, but they made Landon say the question out loud and it was Will you mary me? It was so cute! He asked her how od she was and she said she was 10 and he told her to give him a call in 8 years! The other questions were ones that most LD fans know the answer to like do you play video games? (his fav is Madden 2003 and he told everyone to pick up FIFA 2003 w/ him on the cover) What was it like to be in a World Cup? Questions like that.

After the questions he and his brother had a juggling contest and his brother won. Then he played a game against a few 6 year olds which had to be the cutest thing in the world! They asked if he would ever coach a team and he said that he would love to, but didn't know if he had the patience to. He said when he has a kid he'll probably coach his/her's team. After that one of his former coaches talked about what a dedicated soccer player he was and how you could always find him playing in the park or at the school. Landon then talked about moving from Ontario to Redlands in the sixth grade and how much he hated it there, and thinking his mom was the most evil person in the world for making him move.

The last thing was a speed shooting contest. Landon, a guy from Redlands High School, and a girl from the U-14 national team took shots to see who's was the fastest. Of course Landon won with like a speed of 64 mph. It was about 1:15 when it ended so I still had a lot of time before the game at 6:30.

My sister wanted to go to Anaheim to get an authentic Anaheim Angels (who by the way LD wanted to win the world series) World Series Club house t-shirt. So we made the 45 minute trip there, got the shirt, got something to eat, and headed back to Redlands.

11/2/02 (evening/night) - We got back at 5:30 and there was already a line to get into the stadium. They began letting people in at 5:45 and the first 100 people got a signed pic of Landon. Unfortunatly I wasn't one of them. I found seats at midfield about 4 rows up so I could see everything! There were 3 teams: Los Gauchos (LG) club team, AYSO all-star team, and a UK international team. Landon had to take pics with the LG and AYSO teams, which also meant he had to take his shirt off twice!

After they were done warming up they introduced the teams and LD again. Landon played with Los Gauchos first against the UK team. LD scored on a free kick, but didn't do his big shirt ripping celebration. The final score was Los Gauchos 1, UK 2. During half-time they raffled off some autographed items, but of course I didn't win. Then the 2nd game started. Got to see Landon take his shirt off again so he could play with the AYSO all-stars. He didn't score this game, but AYSO won 3 to 2 against UK.

Landon came out the last minute of the game so that he could get ready to sign autographs. At the first events he said he would sign an autograph for every single person. Everybody rushed to get in line, but the security guards weren't letting people through. I decided to wait until the line went down, so I sat on the bleachers and froze my a$$ off! See I'm from AZ so anything below 60 degrees is cold and it was about 40! I went under the bleachers and sat there because there was no wind and seemed a little warmer. My mom and sis went to a gas station to get some hot chocolate which saved my life!

2 hours went by and the line finally went down. I decided to get in line, but it didn't really matter because I was the last person any way, which was ok because I got to talk to LD! I waited for 15 minutes when they finally let me through. These 2 girls in front of me wanted to be last so they let me cut them.

Ok here is the good part! I just want to say that Landon is one of the nicest people I ever met and it's true that he is sooo much hotter in person! As I got to the table I handed him my Sports Illustated magazine and ticket stub. We said hi to each other and he told me that he liked my sweater (it was a moroon O'neill sweater) and asked what O'neill was. I told him that it was a Califronia brand like Quiksilver or Roxy. I then asked if I could get a picture with him and he said of course. So I went around the table and he had his arm out and we leaned against one another. He told me he appreciated the warmth and I said me too. I told him thank you and walked away. The picture came out really good, I was so paranoid that I wasn't looking at the camera!

My mom wanted to tell him that we came all the way from AZ to see him, but she didn't have anything for him to sign. I told her that she could take my USMNT shirt w/Landon's name on it, so I took it off and her and my sis went to get an autograph. When my mom told him where we came from he said WOW! and told us to have a safe trip home.

Landon is one of the sweetest guys, especially for being an athlete. I've met pro baseball players before and they never seem to interact with the fans the way Landon does and I just think it is so great to see people like him who appreciate their fans to no extent. I mean you have to to stay in 40 degree weather for 2 hours in shorts and sign every single person's items and take pictures!
(Note to MeLinda: You didn't bore me!)

» Date of Encounter: July 20, 2002 . Encounter by Steph
*Note from the author: If Landon reads this, I'll be really embarassed for posting it on the net. But's a cool story, and Tiff is a cool girl with a cool site...well here we go. (Landon don't be mad!!! ok??:) :) :) )

Prologue: ;)

I found Landon's email address when he posted it on an old website and only like 1 other person got it (i THINK, I'm not sure). He was still in Germany then, and no one really knew who he was, myself included! So I emailed this guy, never expecting a response, but I got one! And it's been almost 2 years since then and he still emails me.

Chapter 1 ;)

Well last summer (2002) I decided it was time to go meet him. Luckily I have an aunt who lives in the bay area, so I made arrangements for my mom and I to stay with her. (p.s. I live in Minnesota) So on July 20th, 2002, we flew down to CA, hoping to see the game on that day. But we got stuck in Chicago for 8 hours, so no such luck. But on Wednesday, 7-24-02, I finally went to see Landon. I don't remember any of the game, but I do remember the autograph session. Here we go.

I waited outside the lockerroom door at Autograph Alley for about 30 minutes, when finally Landon came out of the locker room. I was at the beginning of the line of people, so I was expecting him to come right over to me like all the other players did. But no. He decided to run down the line and out of sight! I almost died. But some nice girls assured me that he would get to us, and about 90 minutes later, Landon was standing right in front of me! I somehow managed to stay calm and say "Heeyy...Landon...I'm Stephanie from Minnesota." Then he stopped signing autographs and kinda looked at me with a half smile on his face and said "What are YOU doin' here?" and I said "Umm...coming to see you!" and he said "Ohh right you said that!" Then before I knew it, he gave me a big hug in front of all the people there! (the nice girls I mentioned before were kinda mad!) I remember thinking "let go Steph! let him go!" but I just couldn't! hehe! Oh it was nice... Then my mom (who was behind me) said "STEPH!" (my mom said that Landon was smiling the whole time, but I couldn't see..dang! we've got pics though) Anyway, I eventually let him go, but not without a lil kiss on the cheek! (right cheek...I dunno if he shaved that day...hmmm ;) ) To this date that was the bravest thing I've ever done. HEHE!! I honestly can't remember anything said or done after that, but I do remember saying "well I'll see ya in KC!"

So the next day we flew to KC and stayed in the same hotel as the quakes but my mom didn't tell me that until AFTER we left. Geez. Anyway, during warmups for that game, Landon saw my sign that said "Minnesota Luvs Landon" and he smiled/nodded at me!!! I nearly died. Haha, I literally nearly died, because these other girls who had some signs said they hated me because Landon wouldn't pay attention to them! I was afraid of getting mobbed in the parking lot! Ahh I feel so lucky sometimes.

» Date of Encounter: Apr 25, 2001 . Encounter By: Steph (Author Note: This is an encounter w/ Landon's Dad)
Ok, it was 4-25-01, the qualifier against Costa Rica in Kansas City, MO. Landon didn't have that many fans back then, so I decided to make 6 signs to show support for him, (one for each of the people in my group of people to hold up, and on the back was one letter of his name, so all together it spelled out L-A-N-D-O-N)

So we drove 7 hours from home in Minnesota to the game in KC. We got there 2 hours early, so we were pretty much in an empty stadium. A few minutes later, we noticed 2 people a like 10 rows ahead of us wearing Donovan jerseys. So I said to my mom "hey I bet those are his parents..haha just kidding." But my mom decided to get their attention by SCREAMING "HEY DONOVAN!!!" and she held up my sign that said "Landon is Awesome!!!" So the guy turned around and kinda looked at the sign and smiled and nodded and then turned back around. Good job mom you just embarassed the heck outta me..right? Wrong.

About 5 minutes later, the guy in front of us turned back around and pointed to me and waved for me to come down by him. So I went down there not really knowing what to expect, and he said "Hi there, how many kids are in your family?" and I said "Uhh...three...whyyy..." He reached into his bag and handed me 3 autographed 5x7 cards of Landon when he played in Germany! They were all in German and I couldn't understand them but that's not the point. I sorta put some pieces together in my dumb little brain and said "Are you related to Landon??" and after what seemed like forever, the guy said "Yup...he's my son." Whoa there. So I thanked Mr. Donovan about a thousand times and went back to my seat to get my camera. I took my mom back down with me and said "If it's ok with you guys, can I get a picture with you two?" (the lady got up and started video taping me, I later found out that she was Mr. Donovan's ladyfriend) And Mr. Donovan said "With ME? Sure!!" so I got a picture with him and thanked him again and said some stuff to the video camera about how I knew him etc etc.(if you wanna know too, please read my other Encounter!) (by the way, Landon looks a lot like his dad!) So the game went well for the USA, we won 1-0! (I didn't meet Landon then though...) After the game, I saw Mr. Donovan and his girlfriend leaving, so I ran up to them and said "I just wanted to thank you again for the autograph cards" and he said "Aww honey you're welcome!!" (wow my own dad doesn't even call me 'honey'!) and I said "Well it was really great meeting you two, good luck to Landon blah blah blah" and he said "Great to meet you too!" Wow... that was my Landon's Dad Encounter! And if Landon ever watches that videotape...oh Lord.

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