You see my picture and I know exactly what you are thinking.
Didn’t that guy date one of the Kardashians?
OK, maybe that was not your first thought.
Instead, you probably questioned how Urkel landed a job at Yahoo! Did Dave Chappelle really walk away from Comedy Central to work with Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner? You currently have a split screen of comedian Chuck Nice and I, yet, cannot tell the difference.
My name is Anwar Richardson, and I am thrilled to join Shutdown Corner. As you can tell, I do not take myself so seriously. I may not have all the humor necessary for a career in stand-up comedy, but life is too short not to enjoy it. I poke fun at myself, so I expect you to do the same. I anticipate cynicism from trolls, scolding from grammar guy, sarcastic Sally’s one-liners, and in a demented way, yours truly is OK with it.
If everyone is done comparing my face to Nice’s, you probably would like to know about my connection to football. To make things easy, here are 10 football-related facts about me:
1. I graduated from Lakeland (Fla.) High School in 1991, which is the same school Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey and Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Ahmad Black attended. Former NFL players who attended LHS include Houston Oilers offensive lineman David Williams, Jacksonville receiver Shannon Baker, Carolina running back Rod Smart (He Hate Me) and Pittsburgh running back Chris Rainey (insert clever line here).
2. The two NFL teams I covered before joining Shutdown Corner were Tampa Bay and Detroit. I have experienced Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, Raheem Morris and Jim Schwartz. Which one would you like to have dinner with?
3. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Shaun King is the godfather to my 7-month-old son. No, I do not plan to replace King with Brad Johnson next year.
4. Last year, I was a Pro Football Hall of Fame Committee Member. I am still listed as a voter on their website, which I hope is never updated.
5. When I was a high school reporter at The Tampa Tribune, I covered former NFL running back Travis Henry at Frostproof High. That was before Henry thought birth control was a bad idea and believed cocaine trafficking was a good one. Another memorable high school player I covered is former Philadelphia Eagles receiver Freddie “The People’s Champion” Mitchell.
6. The first NFL football game I attended was the “Repus Bowl” in 1991. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-13) hosted the Indianapolis Colts (1-14). “Repus” Bowl was the opposite of “Super” Bowl, and Tampa Bay won 17-3. It was also the first time I saw a trough urinal, which resulted in an immediate about-face.
7. My wife traveled with me to Green Bay in 2011 because she did not want to spend New Year’s Eve alone (oh, the romance of Appleton, Wis.). She saw Green Bay play against Detroit on January 1, 2012. Former Packers quarterback Matt Flynn threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns during a win.
8. I do not own a single NFL autograph. As a child, I asked former New York Yankees outfielder Dave Winfield for his autograph during spring training. I begged him inning after inning. After Winfield finally broke down and signed with disgust, he said, “Why would you want to ruin my rookie card? You could go to college one day off this card.” I never asked for an autograph again.
9. There once was a lingerie football league team in Tampa. I purchased a ticket, and the game was more competitive than I thought it would be. However, I cannot remember the team names or final score, which means it was a great experience.
10. I am addicted to fantasy football. I have two fantasy football championship belts because of back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010, but was defeated in the 2011 finals. What happened in 2012? Well, three wins are better than nothing, right?
Here are the easiest ways to keep up with me:
Love letters: NFLAnwar@yahoo.com
Monday also marks the first day on Shutdown Corner for Eric Edholm. Learn all about him here.
Anwar S. Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo! Sports. He has covered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for The Tampa Tribune and Detroit Lions at MLive.com, and is a Pro Football Hall of Fame voter. He graduated from the University of South Florida and currently lives in Tampa with his wife and son.