Friday, September 26, 2014

Pierogies with Earnest

Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner. Photo: Cleveland Browns.

Ahem...sorry, I'll get to that in a second. 

Twitter is a wonderful thing. It can help you stay connected, promote your business and if you are lucky - meet football legends. 

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in a Twitter conversation with Browns great, Earnest Byner. Byner is one of the all time Browns greats and with teammate Kevin Mack, they were only the third set of team mates in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards. 

The conversation was about pierogies. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew, I was with a couple of friends, meeting Earnest Byner and his wife for pierogies at Market Garden Brewery in Ohio City. 

Earnest Byner's SuperBowl ring from his time with the Redskins.
If you are of a certain age, you remember Byner, Mack, Dixon, Kosar and company and the electricity shooting through the fans that can only be brought about by winning.  This may account for why Browns fans can be a bit fanatical about Byner. 

When I knew Pierogies with Earnest was actually going to happen, I offered to ask Byner questions on behalf of the fans.  Here is a great example of how Clevelanders think of Byner: 

A Facebook question for Earnest. 
I can tell you that Byner and his wife were everything you would hope for them to be. They were friendly, patient, and all around awesome people. 

A few awesome points from our chat:
  • Byner has never been offered a Milkbone, and therefore never consumed one
  • He believes Le'Veon Bell is one of the best Running Backs playing the game today
  • Yoga is not something he practices, but understands the importance of breathing 
  • Byner is still connected to his Browns teammates, and while they may not talk everyday, when they get back together, it is like they never left
  • The connection that the fans, the players and the city had was real and it was awesome
  • Everyone at the table got a good laugh about the Browns fans being the most possessive of players
  • Ronnie Lott was one of the toughest players that Byner played against
  • One of Byner's greatest moments was when he met his idol, Marcus Allen
Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner. 
Then, as if things couldn't be more awesome, Kevin Mack dropped by. 

As the night wrapped up, as a testament to how much Browns fans think of Byner, at the end of our meal, our server at Market Garden told Byner what he means to Browns fans and there was a guy that waited I don't know how long outside the restaurant for him. 

I can't thank Earnest Byner enough for being so cool...all I can say is next time, the pierogies are on me.