College Sports

Fans Describe Odd Encounters With Athletes Before They Were Famous

Darren - March 24, 2021
College Sports

Fans Describe Odd Encounters With Athletes Before They Were Famous

Darren - March 24, 2021
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. Bad Trade

Some stories are too good to pass by. Jim Harbaugh is one of the more famous college coaches out there while his son Jay is also a football coach. Reddit user Nastylep described his friendship with the younger Harbaugh and how it created tensions between their families. However, the wedge between them was created by something incredibly odd. This was about Pokemon cards.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

“Pokemon cards were the biggest fad in the country at this time – Pogs had been phased out,” the NFL fan said. “At one point, I managed to trade his Blastoise from him. Jim came to my house later after finding out about the lopsided trade, reamed out my parents, and demanded we swap cards back.” To be fair, this was totally reasonable of Harbaugh because Pokemon cards are serious business.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

6. Tailgating

Many college athletes receive fame even if they don’t make it into the major leagues. In fact, many people follow NCAA tournaments more passionately than the NFL or NBA. Furthermore, it means that it can be easy to encounter somebody with a following. However, in one case, it was a Kansas City Jayhawk who was doing the following, much to the displeasure of one driver.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

TurdFurgeson22 explained: “Another friend was getting tailgated by Justin Wesley so he pulled over and threw his wallet at Justin’s car (still not knowing it’s him). Justin stopped and got out of the car, at which point my friend said “hey you’re Justin Wesley” and they both got back in their cars.” The surprise of seeing Wesley totally deescalated the odd situation.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Extremely Smart

We already spoke about how the Morris twins were not totally dedicated to their studies. However, this isn’t the case for many sports stars. In fact, odd as it may seem, many are very intelligent people. They are perfectly capable of doing other things but preferred to focus their energy on one profession that pays very well. In the case of Robert Turbin, he was a great student.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Aristocrat_user revealed: “I was the math and statistics tutor of Robert Turbin, Seahawks RB at Utah State University. Was an extremely smart guy, could solve tough problems fast, and had a quick learning ability. Was way better than the other student-athletes that I tutored. I didn’t care about football then. I didn’t know that he was a famous person in college.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. Big Eater

Victor Oladipo is allegedly a very nice man but he features on this list for a second time for this reason. However, this fan’s encounter with the future NBA superstar was certainly odd in comparison. He explained that Oladipo eats an incredible amount of food. Obviously, athletes fuel their bodies to ensure recovery and refill energy levels. But it still surprises people to see how much they can consume.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

“My high school took a trip to IU to go to the library and saw Oladipo with a huge tray of food,” ma6ic wrote. Multiple sandwiches, soups, sides, it was pretty much enough for a family of four. The group got star struck, went away for 10 minutes, come back to see him walking out the door. Dude eats a ton.” It seems like there is a lot to like about Oladipo.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

3. Wall Breaker

“Jake Long threw me into a wall in Michigan about two years ago. He is very strong,” Vgman20 wrote on Reddit. This is a ludicrous statement and it sounds like there is a fantastic story behind it. One thing that we can all agree on is the fact that Long is definitely a very powerful individual. It’s not odd to imagine him smashing an ordinary human being through a brick wall.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Despite playing both basketball and football in college, the hulking Long agreed to play for the Wolverines. An offensive tackle, he also had a great professional career in the NFL. A four-time Pro Bowler, Long represented his franchise with distinction. At 322 lbs and standing at six-foot-seven inches tall, Long was truly a monster of a human being. Don’t mess with him in a bar.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. So Obvious

Michigan’s basketball scandal was a massive news story when the full story emerged. Basically, boosters bribed athletes to sign by buying them expensive gifts and laundered money through their young stars. However, according to one Michigan alumnus, the writing was on the wall. He found it more surprising that it took so long for the world to discover the plot.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

“While I was at Michigan I would see Albert White drive around in a brand new Jaguar,” way2gimpy wrote on Reddit. “We knew it was only a matter of time before the team got busted (football teams was always cleaner – or better at hiding it).” Of course, Michigan definitely wasn’t the only school to follow such practices but it’s odd that they were so open about it.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. “Awesome Guy”

“Chris Spielman is an awesome guy,” Sterling_Archer_ISIS wrote on Reddit. “My grandmother was probably his biggest fan, starting when he was in high school. She met him many times and he was always a great guy and knew her by name. I also met him through her, and he signed a bunch of stuff for me and took pictures. He even sent flowers when my grandmother passed away, which was absolutely amazing.”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

It’s odd to think that somebody’s grandmother was the reason a person made a connection with an elite athlete. But in this case, that was the situation. Spielman’s behavior in this situation deserves a lot of respect because he sounds like a very kind human being. The Detroit legend definitely represented his family in a positive manner. It’s a good story.

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