Yesterday evening I risked life and limb, my life and limb, clambering over the remains of DIY projects, half-abandoned bicycles and old computers, and lifting and opening box after box, in the pursuit of a football jersey. Not just any football jersey, but one bought at beginning of my life as a dad and the end of my life as a regular American Football fan.
I have to say it must have shrunk in the box, it no longer fits in quite the same way as it did when I knew why I’d bought that jersey. So yesterday evening I searched here and the Internet at large and the reason became clear.
Finding it, a replica #57 jersey, brought back yet more memories of a road trip at the start of the 2004 season. Starting with the Wauseon Indians HS team (beat Swanton), following up with Bowling Green (beat SE Missouri State), and culminating in an extraordinary day in the company of the Browns (who beat the Ravens!)
The icing on the cake: meeting Kevin Mack (who signed a practice ball for me), Dante Lavelli and his wife, and Sam Rutigliano and his wife. Yes, I was very much over-awed (and rendered part-mute by a miserable ear infection.)
I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of any of the teams we saw over the week, but it didn’t matter, it’s football!
#57, Clay Matthews Jr., by any measure one of Football’s all-time Linebacker greats, but likely destined never to reach the Pro Football Hall of Fame (I’ve been there too!) He seems to have been in the wrong place (Cleveland) at the wrong time (all sixteen years before he left for the last three of his career); it’s got to hurt.
Right now, I’m looking at Reddit’s r/Browns multiple time’s a day (even on the toilet, but shhh…), professing nothing but attempting in my singularly-inept fashion to absorb, er… stuff. It’s an uphill task even attempting to chat with folks bringing the conversation down to my level! So I tried the #browns IRC channel! It’s friendly, quiet (ok, almost unused right now; and that suits me just fine.) I’ve also looked for podcasts to fall asleep to, thinking I’ll be able to subliminally absorb chat and regurgitate on-demand.
The summary, before I overwhelm myself with words: I can feel something stirring again.