28 September 2009
Frostburg State University
23 Jun 2009. In a perfect world, June at Frostburg would be filled with players, staff, and media for the Washington Redskins training camp. But a hometown feel is not a good fit (that is: not optimally profitable) for big business, which is what the NFL has become. So don't blame owner Dan Snyder - if it wasn't him, it would have been someone else.
Anyway, FSU is sparsely inhabited by janitorial and construction crews, taking their time, relaxing, absorbing the sunlight. Bobcats' fans know how to enjoy a summer day, Redskins or not, thank you very much.
"Yo where's Portis?"
"Who knows. How you gonna sign up for a radio appearance and then not show up?"
"Don't worry, he told us." A slim brunette walks into the studio and starts adjusting levels on the sound board.
"Clinton is out at Frostburg. He'll be on the air tomorrow."
The young lady hands a pair of headphones to the two Redskins players.
"Frostburg? What's he doin' in Frostburg?"
"You hogs ready for showtime? Pa-ZAM! Pa-ZAM!" The mid-heavy host walks in to give the football players a couple of faux stomach punches. Not wanting to be badmouthed as jerks later, the players pocket their fists and smile weakly.
"Dumbledore was a Quidditch beater but still managed to catch the golden snitch thirteen times."
"Excellent point. Everyone, you could follow Clinton's example. Now for next time, we'll tackle chapter 7 on the creatures of Hogwarts."
#26 quickly finishes up his notes for his appearance and packs up. He is the first one out of the classroom. He checks his cellphone and dials the first of his seven missed calls.
"Yo man I hear you up in Frostburg today?"
"I'm leaving right now."
"What are you doing way out there?"
"Our team played up here for decades man. You just got no sense of history."
"I guess not. But I don't share your sense of style, Miss Nancy, and you're not watchin' that Tyra Banks 'So You Want To Be A Model' show."
"Whatever dicknose. See you at practice."
Running back Clinton Portis had been keeping his attendance at FSU a secret for obvious reasons. It's one thing to wear a pink feather boa to a press conference as a joke. It's another to enroll in a college course called The Science of Harry Potter.
Though his teammates had started to become suspicious of his Tuesday night absences, he would be outed by a completely different source.
Portis walks into the radio studio for his make-up interview on The Sports Rotunda with Robert Rotunda. He pulls out his notes on his talking points, special thanks, and charities. The interview goes well but he leaves his notes behind. Normally that is not a problem. But his notes tonight were scribbled on the back of a classroom seating chart. After the show, the female producer plucks it out of the recycle bin.
"Robert, check this out."
The fat man takes the sheet. He reads it silently. His smile and eyes grow wide.
"Is this for real? This is great! Pa-ZAM! Ratings! Maybe even a mention on the ESPN ticker." He one-two punches the air.
It was not revealed the way he would have liked, but Clinton Portis became the first pro football player to openly admit being in love with a boy wizard.