July 17--They call themselves the Woolfpack. They love Sam and they want hugs.
Even if you're not old enough to remember Beatlemania, you've seen the films: The teenage girls in the audience either screaming or crying, the throngs chasing the Fab Four through the streets.
Sam Woolf's legion of fans may not be quite as large as the Beatles' -- at least not yet. But his following, which calls itself the Woolfpack, is just as fervent.
And the Woolfpack's affection for their idol plays out largely in the Twitterverse.
"This is Sam last night after I almost met him," a Woolfpack member named Danielle tweeted above a blurry picture of Woolf scurrying past at some unnamed venue. She attached a note asking someone to forward to Woolf: "The past 2 months I've pictured giving you a big hug. pictured saying at least one sentence to you and you replying back to me."
Attached is a genuinely heartbreaking letter to Woolf that almost anyone who ever had a teenage crush can relate to.
Sam Woolf, of course, is the fresh-faced Bradenton singer who finished fifth on this year's edition of "American Idol." He's currently on the first arena tour of his 18-year-old life, and he'll be in Sarasota this evening when the "American Idol Live!" tour comes to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Woolf and most of the other top 10 finishers from this year will be performing group songs and solos -- mostly songs they performed during the past season.
Not all the Woolfpack tweets are as poignant as Danielle's.
"I would ask Sam if he would give me a piggy back ride" tweeted@lifesaverwoolf tweeted "Why can't all boys be like Sam man." She also posted a photo of herself shaking hands with Woolf outside the tour bus.
"This was when he was just about to hug me Im crying."
And this from Sarah, aka"I just want to meet Sam and hug him and never let him go is that too much to ask."
Hugs are a big deal among members of the Woolfpack.
"I met Sam Woolf from American Idol and he was so so lovely," tweeted
Details: 8 p.m. today, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $81-$106. Information: 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-953-3368. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.
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