On January 5, 2003, Randy Eye was burrowed inside of his Rootstown, Ohio home, shielding himself from the outside world. A bearded, motorcycle-riding mountain of a middle-aged man, Eye was soaking in the remaining hours of a weekend which had only served to provide a brief recess from his hard-earned living as a skilled tradesman for Chrysler. Rootstown is exactly as the name would insinuate—a rural township named after a founding family, home to roughly 7,000 people, rife with State Routes and cemeteries alike where the chief exports are farmland scenery and circular economics. In typical northeastern Ohio fashion, the weather on this very day was a marriage of dry, blistery and swirling winds with a hint of flurries. There was a slight accumulation of snow on the frozen ground, but Mother Nature had instead provided a perfect balance of a day that was both unappealing to the eye—with brown grass and barren trees—and one that was torturous to the touch with a wind chill near zero.
As Eye’s hometown-favorite Cleveland Browns were amassing a multiple-score third quarter lead on the neighboring Pittsburgh Steelers in what was an AFC Wild Card game for the ages 1 , Eye received a phone call from his 16-year-old daughter Jessica—she was stranded on a nearby road as her 1982 Dodge 600 had died. [Read more...]
- The Browns, of course, had made the NFL postseason for the first time since their expansion-fueled return in 1999, a date put in place after the team had left for Baltimore several years earlier. [back]