Today's first athlete run-in story comes to us just in time for the big UCLA-USC game this weekend (which would have been 10 times cooler had UCLA not gotten killed by Arizona earlier this year) and involves everybody's favorite Bears draft bust, Cade McNown. The teller is Joe Lederer from Long Beach, Calif., and though we don't think Lederer necessarily comes across the best in this story, anything that pokes fun at McNown is fine in our book. It's a little long, so here's an excerpt:
Cade McNown takes his somewhat empty water bottle and THROWS IT AT ME! I catch it and, without skipping a beat, yell "That's the first completion you've had in a year!"
The full tale of failed athlete-drunk fan battle after the jump.
Me and my buddies — six of us; four USC nuts (me included) and two UCLA fanatics — went to The Big Game in 2002 at the Rose Bowl. We had second row seats in the endzone (perfect distance to taunt Ricky Manning Jr. during warmups). It was apparently a Welcome Alumni Game or something, because there were quite a few former Bruin players roaming the sidelines.
One of these players happened to be Cade McNown, quite possibly my least favorite UCLA player of all-time. Cade was in the twilight of his fantastic pro career, just having been signed by Terry Donohue to the 49ers. Cade was looking pretty boy-bandish, in jeans and a white untucked dress shirt, looking like the cock of the walk.
During halftime, he walked passed us along the back of the endzone, when one of my friends yelled "You suck, Cade!" (Yeah, real original.) Cade stops dead in his tracks, turns around and puts his arms out and says "Who said that?" For some reason, I jumped up and said in a voice I was not aware I could make — think Randy Macho Man Savage — I stood up and yelled back "I DID!! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT??"
Cade looks at me and starts walking over to us making gestures like "Oh yeah? What's your problem, punk?" Well, at this point I was pretty hammered AND fired up so I get out of my seat and go up to the waist-high wall and yelled "You got your dick so far up Donohue's ass I'm surprised he can breathe" and "You couldn't carry Tim Rattay's jock strap!"
What transpired next seemed to go in slow motion.
Cade McNown takes his somewhat empty water bottle and THROWS IT AT ME! I catch it and, without skipping a beat, yell "That's the first completion you've had in a year!" then — and while it's great in retrospect, I still can't believe how stupid it was — I throw the bottle back at him. The bottle goes end-over-end, causing some water to fly out and hit McNown in the chest. He's shocked. I'm shocked. Everyone in the section was shocked. I thought "Fuck, I'm going to jail," and McNown walks up to the Event Staff security guard who was standing right there. He tells him to arrest me, throw me out. The security guard just stands there. McNown then pulls the "Don't you know who I am?" card, but the guard says "You threw the bottle first."
McNown flips me the bird and walks off as the USC fans in the section absolutely erupt with cheers.
That moment is permanently in my memory, I know I'll never forget it. To this day, it's still my favorite story to tell.
Athlete Run-Ins: The Polite Don Sutton [Deadspin]