Spot The Sign Lady

By: Lorne Chan

Jane Ann Craig said inspiration often strikes her in the middle of the night, when she finds the perfect line for 18x24-inch posterboard.

She’ll head to her office-turned-sewing room and get to work drawing, cutting and pasting to support the Silver & Black.

Craig is also known as the "Spurs Sign Lady."

A Spurs Season Ticket Member for nine years, Craig is one of the most noticeable fans at the AT&T Center for her often colorful, always creative Spurs signs from behind the Spurs basket in Section 101, Row 9.

“It’s a responsibility to me,” she said. “I don’t ever criticize the other team, I don’t want to put anybody down. I’m never negative, I just want to add a little fun.”

Craig, who lives in Austin, makes a 170-mile round trip for every game.

She’s thought of more than 200 signs, often personalized for a particular player or coach and TV cameras always seem to find her.

One of her most popular signs this season was one for Dewayne Dedmon and David Lee, coining the nickname “Ded-Lee Duo.”

“They both autographed the sign,” she said. “I think Dewayne particularly loved it.”

Her signs usually come in threes for greater visibility, so that makes for almost 600 total signs she’s made.

Craig was a high school cheerleading sponsor during her years as a teacher, giving her more than enough sign-making experience. She served as the stat keeper for the boys basketball team as well.

In her final year of teaching at Austin Westlake High School in 2008, she told the coach that he’d have to find someone new to do her job. She was buying Spurs season tickets instead.

When she took her seat for the first time, she noticed two ladies sitting next to her.

“I had the epiphany that with three of us, that’s ‘Go Spurs Go,’” Craig said. “The first sign was born.”

She keeps most of her signs in her garage as long as the sign’s subject is still on the Spurs roster, making for some sad days at the recycling bin during free agency.

Craig has made a sign for almost every player to wear a Spurs uniform, but admits her favorite is Manu Ginobili.

Her favorite sign is one that reads “the fire still burns,” referencing a Ginobili quote where he said he still has the “fire within.” During one period when Ginobili was out with an injury, Craig made a We Heart Manu sign out of gauze.

Craig also helps update InfoManu, Twitter and Facebook pages devoted to all things Manu. During pregame warmups, she’ll try to help Argentinian fans get down to the court to meet Ginobili.

“We’re all part of the Spurs Family,” Craig said. “That’s why I’ve kept making the signs after all these games. So someone else might see it and smile.”

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