JUST A LITTLE MORE
By: Casey Anderson, Posted 14 September 2002
Am I the only one who wants a little more?
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
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.”