Stories From Section X: The Secret Fan

   The year was 2021. The Elks weren't winning on the field. The new brand was a bit bland off the field. Things weren't really great but as Elks fans we were still going out and supporting the team like always. Kathy and I were in our Season Seats, Section X Row 6 Seats 1 and 2, and near the beginning of the game I saw a person wearing a player's game worn Signature jersey, a #41 Odell Willis jersey to be exact.

   If you've been an EE fan for a couple years, you know about the differences between a player jersey and a fan jersey, and if you've been a fan for 10 years, you know what Odell Willis wears for a hat; Odell likes to wear the winter, Dog Ear style EE hat, which this "fan" was. I looked over at Kathy multiple times during the game with speculations that the person in front of us was Odell Willis. On a bad defending drive for the Elks, I cried out "This wouldn't happen if Odell Willis was still playing!" Nothing. No reaction. I was frustrated.

   By the middle of the 4th quarter, I had to know who this person was. They're waving at the camera, eating nachos, enjoying the game and acting like every other Elks fan in Commonwealth Stadium. On a commercial break I broke down, ran down a couple rows, tapped this person on the shoulder and said, "Hey, just wanted to say nice jersey". Odell looks up at me with a big smile, laughs and gives a fist bump. I ran back up to Kathy with a big smile and in a low-key fashion, exclaimed "It's Him." 

  At the end of the game, I caught up with Odell and had a quick chat about life after football, where he's at in life and the state of the organization at that time. Things we won't share, but that's the story of the secret fan who was actually a former player in the crowd. Just another great story out of Section X.