The following was written by former Louisville kicker and 2006 Lou Groza Award winner Art Carmody
A huge win last week for the Cards, and as I am finishing this up UCONN just made things a little more interesting in the Big East. Looking forward to watching another very big game on Saturday.
When I was in college I used to do a lot of speaking engagements at schools ranging from elementary to high school. Whether it was reading Dr. Seuss books to little kids (some of those books were surprisingly hard to read due to all the rhymes and tongue twisters) or talking to high school kids about pertinent social issues, I would always leave time for a little Q&A. Eventually the question would always come up: "Do you know Brian Brohm?" My answer would be "yes, I know him well, he is one of my roommates." Then like magic almost every hand in the room would come up with more questions to ask about Brian.
I'll wrap up my series on quarterbacks today with a look at Brian Brohm. This was a hard article to write because there are so many memories and thoughts to choose from. I apologize for the length, and hope you all enjoy it.
The first time I really met Brian was during our summer conditioning in 2004. He was finishing his senior baseball season and we were in the middle of our summer workout program. Needless to say, he wasn't used to our conditioning yet.
The quarterbacks and kickers ran next to each other, and towards the end of Bian's first day I seriously thought he might die. We would get penalized if our hands touched our knees or if we bent over to rest (the whole group would have to run an extra sprint), so nobody would let anyone one break those rules. Brian was teetering on the verge of breaking those rules, so I let him lean on me after each sprint before we would go onto the next one. Due solely to his laziness, we have been friends ever since.
Brian and I were roommates for three years in a house off Poplar Level Rd with our good buddy Justin Deeley. I called Justin over the weekend and said I was doing an article for Card Chronicle on Brian and he started laughing and said, "where do we start?" I thought the same thing, where do I start?
Everyone knows the Brian Brohm story; local boy grows up to be a high school legend, then decides to play for the hometown team that he grew up a fan of, leads team to stardom. That would make for a boring article. I want to write about the Brian I know.
I think a lot of people just assumed Brian didn't have to really try at anything, but even though he was blessed with great ability, he worked very hard to be an outstanding student-athlete. He studied hard in the classroom, brought extra film home to watch (which made me mad because I would want to watch TV but instead would sit there learning about why Pittsburgh ran such and such defense and how we were going to attack it) and would respond to every letter and autograph request he could.
My favorite Brian memory has nothing to do with football, it has to do with a friend getting his "swagger" back and having fun.
Brian had knee surgery in December 2005 and began an extensive rehab process to get back for spring ball. He was pretty serious through the whole process and I think that it frustrated him to not be his usual self. In early February, Blake Williams (former U of L baseball player) and I organized a Saturday morning basketball game in the SAC (Student Activities Center) for all our roommates and friends. We didn't think Brian would play but when he found out what was going on, that competitive side came out. (Speaking of competitive side, he once wouldn't talk to me for a few hours after I threw out the game-tying run in a game of "MLB: The Show" on PS2). He wanted to play and was going to play.
Justin and I were incredibly nervous about the situation. If something happened and he hurt his knee, I would be the one to blame since I was his teammate. Coach Petrino would kill me, no question about it. The city was covered in snow that morning. Brian and I went to pick up Blake and Brian was excited about the chance to get back out on the court and play ball. When we got to Blake's house, Brian insisted on just waiting in the car while I went in. When Blake and I came out literally three minutes later Brian was standing behind my car and had made about 15 snowballs. He started pelting us with them and was having a blast.
As for the game, Brian dominated and easily had a triple-double (mainly because everyone was so scared to guard him or get in his way when he went up for a rebound). Our team had a chance to win, but Justin Deeley's patented drive left to the foul line fade away missed terribly to the left. The knee was perfectly fine and Brian was back. The only downfall of that day was having to listen to Brian talk about how much of a "baller" he was.
They say you learn a lot about someone when you live with them. Try sharing a bathroom with them. Justin and I came up with the following...
Top 5 living with Brian Brohm Moments as remembered by Justin Deeley and Art Carmody:
5. He was a terrible grocery shopper. We had a grocery rotation where every three weeks one of us would go up to Kroger and get groceries for the house. There were a few staples that you had to get (i.e. Gatorade, cookies, bananas), but Brian would go out of his way to buy stuff that only he would eat. We would open the fridge and there would be V8 juice. I mean who drinks V8 juice while in college?!?!? He would also buy like oat bran raisin crunch cereal and bagel bites (because that was the only thing he could cook).
4. Mrs. Brohm coming over. Justin and I loved when Mrs. Brohm would come over. She would get us groceries that we would actually eat. One time I came home and there was this brand new shelf thing in our bathroom. I asked Justin where he got it and he said "oh no, that wasn't me, Mrs. Brohm came over and put that thing together for y'alls bathroom." She also assisted in getting rid of our pet rat Joey who took up residence in our house during one winter. We had no clue how to get rid of it, but she came by with some rat poison stuff and that was the last we saw of our buddy Joey.
3. Brian's David Copperfield impression on cleaning days. We would have designated cleaning days in which Brian would just magically disappear, nowhere to be found. As soon as the vacuum cleaner would come on he was gone. Also, when he was injured he would use it as an excuse to not have to clean. We would just vacuum around him.
2 The milk in the cereal bowls. Like any other breakfast eating man, Brian liked to eat his terrible oat raisin bran in a cereal bowl with milk. No big deal right? Except he would leave a little bit of milk in it and just put it in the sink. By the time we would get home the spoon would be fused to the bowl. You literally needed a crowbar to get the spoon out. It got to be a habit that drove us nuts. We tried to get him to stop by leaving the bowls out and by putting them under his bed. Didn't work.
1. His fashion habits. In Brian's defense they have gotten better, but during college he was the king of the team-issued gear. He would also just walk around the house with his shirt off all the time. During the off-season, in the late afternoon you could always find Brian on the couch with his shirt off watching Seinfeld. He also donned these terrible glasses for one his birthday parties.
Bonus: His choice of television shows. We agreed on a lot of shows like Seinfeld, SportsCenter, Football, Basketball, etc. However, he didn't understand how I could sit and watch every inning of a baseball. Justin and I used to watch 24 and Brian didn't understand how awesome Jack Bauer is. Every Monday he would comment about how stupid the show was. This was coming from the guy that watched Desperate Housewives on Sunday nights and lived for reality TV (The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars, etc.) I told him just watch one episode. Naturally, after that one episode he was hooked. It got to the point where every Monday we were having 24 parties with all of our friends.
Speaking of television, the night of the West Virginia-Rutgers game in 2006 was a night I will never forget. Not only because of the game, but because we wouldn't let Brian watch it with us. When the game started, a group of us including my dad and two youngest brothers who were in town for the UCONN game were glued to the TV. Brian had been lying in his bed (I guess throwing for 4 TD's makes you tired) and would be back and forth between his room, our living room, and the kitchen. We came to the conclusion and superstition that whenever Brian would be in the living room with us something good would happen for Rutgers. Anytime he would get even close to the living room we would yell at him to get back in his room. We would allow him to interact with us only during commercial breaks. Brian started to believe in this superstition, so when overtime started Brian stayed in his room the entire time. When West Virginia won it was chaos in our house and Brian came running out of his room to celebrate our trip to the Orange Bowl.
I called Brian and asked him to give me some good stuff that I could use for this post. There was a lot of dead air on the phone while he would think, and a lot more of me saying, "damn man, think of something!!!" After all that time of just talking he came up with these thoughts. (* = Art Carmody comment)
Favorite Memory: "Orange Bowl victory for sure. It was the culmination of all the hard work that we put in. It wasn't just for us, but for everyone that helped build that program up. It was special winning it with my brothers (Jeff as QB coach, Greg as director of football operations), and is something I will never forget."
*The Orange Bowl MVP trophy spent like a week at our house just sitting on the floor near our kitchen. I would see it every day before class and would think about how cool it was that it was just sitting there. It would eventually be shipped via Brian's car to the Brohm residence
Worst Memory: "The Rutgers game, by far. To come off the West Virginia game and then to lose that next week to Rutgers was miserable. We lost our shot at the national title."
*I don't like Rutgers
Favorite Road Memory: "The Cincinnati game in 2007. They were ranked in the top 25 and it was for the Keg of Nails. I also liked the uniqueness of the stadium, how it sat right in the middle of campus and you could see the buildings all around it. It was a back and forth game that we pulled out at the end to keep the keg."
Loudest Stadium: "Rutgers"
Favorite Road Stadium: West Virginia "Just because of all the history and their fans' enthusiasm."
Last Game at PJCS: "I think that game represented our senior class. The season was awful and did not go as planned. It was the last game of my college football career. To come back like that was awesome. Completing the long pass to Harry Douglas, setting you up for the game-winning field goal, and getting a little revenge against Rutgers. It was a very special way to end it."
Harry getting mad at me: "One day in practice I threw some fluttering passes in 7 on 7 and Coach Petrino yelled at me and told me to throw every ball as hard as I could. I thought, ok, I am going to show him. I threw the next ball absolutely as hard as I could. It was to Harry and he was only about ten yards away from me. Harry pulled his hands back and let the ball go through. Coach Petrino ripped me, but I was proving a point to him. I had to smooth things over with Harry before the next part of practice because he was pretty upset."
When Bush broke his leg: "It was a check at the line of scrimmage, something we had worked on all week. It was a toss to Mike and if Harry could block Woodyard we would have Mike on the edge for a bunch of yards. I made the check and Woodyard ran through Harry (hurting Harry's ankle on the play) and broke Mike's leg. I felt awfuk about making the check, even though it was the correct call. I saw Mike's leg break in half and walked over to Coach P. He said, ‘What is wrong with him?' I told him that Mike's leg snapped and that he might want to go out there. It was one of the only times I saw the wind drop out of Coach P's sails. It was as if he knew Mike was going to win the Heisman that year. You couldn't blame him after the first half Mike had"
*One of my worst memories as a Cardinal.
Hurting my thumb in the Miami game: "I was throwing a ball away and smashed my thumb into the ground and later found out I tore some ligaments. The next play I grab the ball and think the ball is flat. As I am getting the signal for the next play from Coach P my mind is racing because I realize that there is no way they put a flat ball in the game. I looked at my thumb and it was just dangling there. I honestly didn't know what to do at first. I wanted to call the play and execute it, but thankfully I used better judgment and decided to call a timeout.
Coach P was furious. He thought that I had forgotten the signals and didn't know the play. I told him my thumb was messed up. He looked mad because I really wasn't in pain and didn't appear hurt. I grabbed a ball on the sideline and knew I couldn't play. My thumb literally could fold to the back of my wrist. I didn't even think that was possible, and now Coach P was mad at me for getting hurt. There was nothing else I could do except hand it over to Hunter and let him finish the Canes off. I almost tried to run the next play and it would have for sure been an interception. The best play I made that day wasn't the throw to Mario, it was the decision to call that timeout."
*Brian had surgery early that next morning and was still a little loopy when he woke up later that afternoon. I was sitting in our living room enjoying some delicious Qdoba nachos and watching NFL when Brian comes stumbling in, plops right down next to me, and tries to start eating my nachos. I wasn't having it. I told him to go back to his room and I would go get him nachos later. He went back to sleep and I never went and got the nachos.
Favorite Hotel Memory: "I roomed with Eric Wood at the hotel and every week Travis Leffew and Jason Spitz would always try to get our room keys before we could get them. They would run up to our room and try to mess everything up. They would flip our mattresses over, throw our sheets and blankets all over the room, and mess up everything in the bathroom. Eric and I would have to fix everything back up."
Favorite House Party: Art-a-palooza. "We had some great birthday parties for me, you and Justin, Art-a-palooza was fun. It was for your birthday and we tried to make it as much like the Old School movie as possible. We had flyers made with your picture and Art-a-palooza on them. It was after spring ball and we had a lot of people there."
*They couldn't get Snoop Dogg to attend but they did a great job of keeping it a surprise for a late birthday party. Brian and Justin did a great job of setting it up. There was no streaking.
On the Neighborhood: "When I moved into the neighborhood (lockers #1-#12), the rest of the guys (Kerry Rhodes, Josh Tinch, Broderick Clark, J.R. Russell,) gave me a hard time. It was definitely the best and most entertaining part of the locker room. After a while they accepted me in."
*I tend to disagree, the corner (lockers #13-#24) was the place to be, but the neighborhood was pretty entertaining.
Favorite Ring tone: "Stuntin like my daddy," by Lil Wayne. This was Brian's ring tone and I asked him about it. "I downloaded it so that whenever my dad would call I would know it was him."
As much as he would drive Justin and I nuts sometimes, Brian was a fun roommate to live with. He had an outstanding career and we shared a lot of successes and disappointments together. It was fun catching up with him for this blog entry. He was one of the best quarterbacks in the nation during his time at Louisville, and he raised the expectations for the football program. Thanks to Justin Deeley for going through his memory bank and thanks to Brian for contributing.
I hope you enjoyed reading the article as much as I enjoyed writing it.