With Kenny Chesney coming to play Cleveland Browns Stadium today, I figured I’d share a few memories of Kenny’s previous stadium stops.
There’s a little bit that I remember.
Chesney came to town — and sold out the stadium — in both 2006 and 2007, if I remember correctly. Both years I was working for the Browns, so I had access to some really good tickets. This was in my younger and slightly less mature days, so this was a big deal amongst my friends.
The first year I had an entire row — 16 tickets, right side of the stage, about 15 or 20 rows back. We paid a bunch of pretty pennies for those seats, but those seats were worth every one of them.
All I really remember about the first year is a less-than-entertained co-worker pointing to one of my shirtless friends dancing with some women twice his age in the aisle and asking me, “Is that yours?”
Why yes, yes he was.
I could go on, but you wouldn’t stick around to read. And this blog would no longer be a family show.
Anyway, the two best stories came from the ’07 show. That’s the year a pipe burst and much of Cleveland Browns Stadium got flooded. It was a disaster on many levels as having 60,000 or so people in one place with no water pressure is a bit of a problem.
Down on the floor of the stadium, we were dressed like clowns and acting like clowns and had no idea it was going on until my brother and I needed to use the restroom between acts. We were walking to the restroom — the only exit was straight back towards the other end zone — when we ran into Simon Fraser, the former Ohio State star who was playing for the Browns at the time.
I introduce Simon to my brother, and Simon tells us he hopes we’re not headed to the restroom because they’re all flooding. We say thanks, nice to meet you, good to see you, etc., and start heading the other way and Simon says, “No, you’re not listening. You can’t go to restroom. THEY’RE ALL FLOODING.”
We got in there, and water was spraying everywhere. We were standing in an inch, maybe more, of water, and it was absolutely disgusting. Considering the size of the crowd and that lots of folks had been drinking, it was absolute madness. I just remember seeing a bunch of panicked people, a bunch of frustrated people and the show still going on.
A few weeks later, after the problem had been fixed and before the first preseason game at the stadium, a bunch of Browns employees went to the stadium for a test run. We basically flushed all the toilets at once — within five seconds, anyway — to get an assurance that everything was good to go.
Coolest. Science. Project. Ever.
My other favorite story is from also from ’07. These Chesney stadium shows are all-day festivals, and this particular one also featured Pat Green (my favorite), Sugarland (my future wife) and a couple of others. Charlie Frye was at this concert, too, having quite a good time up front and hearing cheers from fans who recognized him.
Charlie had his back turned to the stage when Jennifer Nettles, the lead singer of Sugarland, slipped off the stage for a minute and returned wearing a No. 10 Brady Quinn jersey. The fans went nuts. Charlie obliviously kept waving to them.
Ah, the memories.
Side note: Now, Simon Fraser is retired from the NFL and going to medical school. And my brother still believes nothing good happens when you use an actual restroom.
Good luck out there today, partygoers. Enjoy.
And stay dry.