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E3 MEMORIES: OUR FAVORITE MOMENTS FROM THE E3 EXPO

Written By: E. Thomas

01-25-2010

E3 MEMORIES VOLUME 1: MR T AND THE BIG SWEATY HUG

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This year marks my 10th Anniversary with the E3 Expo. So many years, so many incredible memories. It seems like only yesterday that I was waiting in line to meet the infamous Mr. T at the 2002 E3 Expo. Mr T was on hand to promote a new video game based on the Rocky films. Appropriately titled "Rocky" the game was created by Rage Software. As you might expect players control the main character Rocky as he battles his way through events featured in the film series. Of course no one could forget Mr T in his role as the brutal Clubber Lang in Rocky 3. Mr T has a long history of playing on screen tough guys, but as I would soon learn, this image was only a facade. Deep inside all those gold chains beats a heart of pure gold.

So there I was waiting in a huge line for an autograph, as I approached the table I saw that Mr T was actually signing little boxing gloves and giving them out to fans. He also graciously posed for photo ops. He posed with every single person who wanted a picture with the TV and Movie legend. As I waited in line I observed Mr T and his interactions with his many fans. The man went out of his way to make everyone feel happy. He was gracious and extremely kind. I was truly surprised by his gentle nature and his tremendously positive attitude. Mr T loves and appreciates all of his fans. He did all that he could to make everyone in the line feel special. He never acted grumpy, he wasn't in a rush, he took his time to greet everyone, calling them all by their first names as they approached the autograph table. (For those of you who don't know, everyone who attends E3 wears a badge with their name and company on it.)

Finally it was my turn to approach Mr T. Honestly, for a moment I was a bit nervous. I don't know why, I live in Hollywood and I see celebrities all the time. Its no big deal. There was something about Mr T that made me feel like a kid again, and I think he could sense my apprehension. So he looked at me, smiled and gave me a warm greeting. I instantly felt at ease. We talked for a moment, I told him how glad I was to meet him and he smiled. I then mentioned that my partner Harold was somewhere else in the arena. I politely asked if I could have a second autographed Boxing glove for my good friend. Mr T looked at my badge, read my name and said "Elliott I'm gonna give you seven!" Seven is his lucky number, its also an important number in his deeply held Christian beliefs, and I also just happen to have seven letters in my first name. He took this as a good omen and he began to sign the gloves. With each glove he signed he counted out-loud. "ONE, TWO, THREE..." Everyone was looking at us. It was an amazingly funny moment. Mr T is a truly caring person who goes far out of his way to please his fans.

Finally Mr T finished signing the seven boxing gloves. I was speechless. He asked me if I wanted a picture, I did, but unfortunately my camera had quit on me earlier in the show. Never one to miss a beat, Mr T said "That's OK Elliott, let me give you a big hug." He came around from his table and gave me a big sweaty man hug! Mr T had worked up quite a sweat entertaining his many fans. Getting a hug from Mr T was a beautiful and completely surreal moment. I thanked him for all his kindness. He honestly made me feel like a million bucks. Mr T is one man who really appreciates his fans. He is truly deserving of his fame.

Afterwards I stepped off the autograph stage and went behind the scenes of the Rage Software booth. There I met Mrs T. That's right Mr T's wife! She is as kind and as gracious as Mr T himself. I told her to thank Mr T again for his massive kindness and generosity. She smiled and said something like "that's just the way he is." She couldn't have been more right.

I wound up keeping one of the boxing gloves for myself, the rest I gave to friends and family. Everyone who received a signed boxing glove was ecstatic! This was yet another way Mr T would share his love with the world. They all have their gloves to this very day. Here's an image of my own. Its a cherished souvenir from time at the E3 Expo.

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PHOTO 1: Close Up of the Mr T Boxing Glove

PHOTO 2: All Seven Mr T Boxing Gloves at the center of my E3 loot!