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JUST A LITTLE MORE
By: Casey Anderson, Posted 14 September 2002

Am I the only one who wants a little more?

First, allow me to preface this by saying that I never met Curtis Williams.  I never spoke to him, and, in fact, never saw him in person save for the times I was lucky enough to see him in action at Husky Stadium.

Perhaps my favorite picture in my photo album is a photo taken by my friend Jon on January 1, 2001 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  Not the one of my friends and I standing in front of the stadium entrance doing “the buffalo stance”, and not the picture of the scoreboard proclaiming the Huskies 2001 Rose Bowl Champions (although those are probably my second and third favorites!).  My favorite picture is taken from our seats, probably about thirty minutes before the game.  The sun was beaming down on the field so brightly that Jon’s cheap camera couldn’t filter out the glare.

I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, consider myself a spiritual person.  That being said, every time I look at the photograph, I can’t help but see the presence of C-Dub.  Somehow, the glare of the sun hit Jon’s camera in such a way that there appeared to be this blazing aura shining into the Rose Bowl that New Year’s Day.

Looking back, I see the Huskies trotting slowly onto the field.  Rather than catapulting from the locker room to the pulse of the Husky Marching Band, the Dawgs, one by one, jog out onto the field to raise a hand to their teammate C-Dub who sits in the press box. 

And, while the physical form of Curtis Williams cheered the Huskies on from the press box that day, somehow Jon managed to capture his spiritual essence on film.  It was not just the amazing play and leadership of Marques Tuiasasopo that made the day special, it was also the real magic of C-Dub pouring into the Rose Bowl.

Every picture, every article, every radio or television spot that mentioned Curtis Williams always pointed out his smile.  Having never met Curtis, I can’t say what kind of person he was before his injury.  Still having never met him, I can say beyond any doubt that between the time of his injury and his passing Curtis Williams was a hero.  Just to simply continue to live in the face of such a tragedy would’ve been heroic.  To do what C-Dub did, to smile and laugh, to cheer on his team, and, most amazingly, to almost magically make everyone around him feel better about not only him but about themselves as well…the heroism in Curtis’s acts defies description.

When C-Dub passed away, I flew my Husky flag on my car for weeks.  My friends wore black to work.  I wore my Rose Bowl sweatshirt.  It was a strange feeling, being about the same age as Curtis and having had tickets in the student section for his entire career.  I’d seen him play, and I’d seen him transformed.  Now I’d seen him pass on.  I felt almost as though a friend or family member had died.

All of this about a football player I never met. 

I bring this up now because last weekend marked the first home game since C-Dub’s passing.  Between the first and second quarter, Braxton Cleman was presented with a scholarship in memoriam of Curtis Williams.  I think that this was a great idea, and that the selection of Braxton Cleman to receive the honor was an excellent one. 

But am I the only one who wants a little more? 

It doesn’t have to be anything overwhelming.  Why not let Braxton Cleman, and those who are awarded the scholarship after him, wear the #25 jersey for the year?  Or maybe paint the 25-yard line purple and gold, or hang Curtis’s jersey up.  Anything.  I just want some small visual reminder, something so that years from now I can bring my grandson to a game in September with the sun blazing down on Husky Stadium and say, “See that, son?  That’s there because of C-Dub, the most heroic Husky that ever played.”     

 

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