I go to one game a year. I wish it were more at times, but I am thankful to get to Lambeau at least once. As if the gratuitous tweeting didn’t already indicate this, Sunday was my game. The seats come via an aunt, who owns season tickets. Like me, she only goes to one game and then sells the rest at face value (very classy). They are also excellent seats – almost eye level with the players, near the opposing bench and within spitting distance of the area where the kicker/punter warm up. On top of the close action, it makes for very intriguing player watching.
A couple of years ago Franklin and I witnessed the Packers blast the Colts in one of the best games of that season. But what I remember most about that day is Marvin Harrison sitting at the very end of the bench near the kickers. No big deal, right? Except that he completely alone, away from the other players, by himself. Quiet and observant. Never talking to anyone the entire game – just like this and this. To be honest, I couldn’t stop watching. On one hand, he might have simply been focused on the game, but to me, he just looked awkward and anti-social. Apparently he was like that in the locker room, too. Again, who knows the reasons for his behavior; all I know is that I couldn’t look away and it offered some unique insight of a player that I might not have seen on T.V.
Sunday I witnessed another player who caught my eye due to some unusual behavior – that of recently acquired 49er kicker Jeff Reed. Look that guy up sometime. Here is one of the most accurate kickers of all time with two rings. If you were a Super Bowl betting person, he would’ve been your guy. But this is not your run of the mill kicker. News outlets have labeled Reed as “quirky” and “eccentric.” Those terms are kind. I Google image-searched him and there are dozens of pictures of him with bleach-blonde wild clown hair looking like he was on spring break in Tijuana. I guess it’s not surprising he has had his share of off-the-field incidents, which probably led him to be released by the Steelers recently. Seriously though, take a look at this guy.
Sunday we saw Reed and at first glance of him in person, you can’t help but notice the size of the guy’s thighs – they are massive. According to his profile, he is 5’11 and 225 pounds. Sure, maybe his rookie year. Each of his legs has to be over 100 pounds – they are that huge. So big in fact that a rather big-boned lady in a tarp next to us cackled, “He’s got more cellulite than I do!” Classic. After gawking a little more at the massivicity (that’s a word, right?) of his bottom half, we nicknamed him “TurboDumps.” Because we’re immature and “ThunderThighs” would’ve been too obvious.
But this alone was not what made seeing TurboDumps so memorable – it was the fact he couldn’t solve the configuration of his jock strap for three hours. On numerous occasions, TurboDumps had his hands jammed down his pants (front and back – mostly back), furiously tugging and twisting and adjusting that of his undergarment puzzle. It was both shocking and hilarious and it went on all game about twenty feet from the lower level of section 125 in plain view. There were times when it appeared ol' TurboDumps had arranged things to his liking, but before you could say, “Yahtzee!” he dove right back into the complicated abyss. It even got to a point where I guess he decided he could no longer fly blind – TurboDumps literally pulled out the front of his pants and looked down at “the situation”. At this juncture, I pleaded, “Come on, man! There’s kids here!” (Tarp lady loved that.)
I wish there were a happy ending to this story, but the truth is, I have no idea if he ever successfully negotiated the mechanism. But he did make all his kicks. Maybe there was some method to his madness, after all.
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