A Horror Story for Brian J.

Not by me, mind you. Something that fills me with dread: Justin Fields Must Recruit Former Teammate To Chicago:

Still, it doesn’t mean Fields can’t find a way to bring in at least one of his former teammates. He’ll do some extra legwork to lure Chris Booker to Chicago if he is smart. Don’t feel bad if you’re unfamiliar with the name. The senior spent two years for the Buckeyes as a backup. He made only two catches during that time—both of them in the year after Fields left.

So why in the world should the QB even bother?

Namely, because Booker has untapped potential. He’s 6’3 with understated speed and surprisingly polished as a route-runner. After dropping out of football at Dayton in 2018, he transferred to Ohio State with no intention of playing again. However, he was convinced to join the school’s club football team. In his first game, he scored touchdowns on a reception, an interception, and a kick return. His head coach knew he had way too much talent for that level right away. So he pestered the school’s varsity program to give Booker a shot.

They finally did after a year. He became a regular on their scout team and would catch passes from Fields in practice.

So the two know each other well. Teammates and coaches alike grew surprised by his progress. That included receivers coach Brian Hartline, a former NFL standout. While he never cracked the offensive starting lineup, Booker became arguably the best special teams player in the entire program and one of the best in college football. Every time somebody was making a play on kick coverage or blocking units, #86 was in the frame. Sadly the ascent came too late in his career to drum up draft interest.

My beautiful wife, who shared this story with me as she’s friends with the lad’s mother, said, “It would be the one way to get a Bears jersey in our house.”

“The hell it would,” I countered thoughtfully. “However, if he were to sign with the Green Bay Packers, everyone in the house would have a Chris Booker jersey. Even the cats.”

What followed was an attempt to edit a listing from the Packer Pro Shop for pet jerseys to include the name and number of the young man in question. An effort abandoned when I determined it would require a couple hours of work for a couple of chuckles at best.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories