A huge mammoth freak of nature embedded in braids strolled into Macy's, much resembling Ricky Jean Francois, looking much taller than the registered '6 3" feet tall, which made me notice Mr. Freak like a sore thumb in a bustling Christmas shopping camaraderie that engulfed the entire mall.
I only ran to him because 49ers and Raider players were coming out of the woodwork grabbing some last minute Christmas shopping, like I was myself.
Did I mention Raiders players? I saw three Raider players, but to my embarrassment, I didn't even know who they were, and cannot confirm if they were from the Raiders, and I didn't want to ask them for fear they would pick me up and parade me around since I proclaim to everyone I am a stinkin' 49er fan.
Back to Francois, I didn't attempt much of a conversation with him because I knew he was busy shopping and the only things I said were, "I hope you do good, that guy you may take over for, what is his name?"
Right there cat caught my tongue. Here I was talking to the very guy that may take over for Justin Smith, I was just star struck and couldn't think of Justin's name.
Francois, being the kind soul he is, offered, "yeah that's Justin Smith."
"Yeah that guy!"
I told him I was a huge 49er fan.
He looked at me as if he recognized the star struck effect, giving a deja vu sort of smile, because I was telling him how big of a Niner fan I was and I couldn't even remember Justin's name. He was giving me the "look" as if I was a fan who just lost it. He smiled because he knew exactly what I was going through that moment.
I then told him "I wanted to take his picture but my damn camera's battery was dead," cutting him in mid-sentence when he said "yes sure, you can have a picture with me." I felt helpless because I had a perfect opportunity to have yet another photo taken of me posing with a 49er and I have never been so pissed my battery was dead on me.
Another bystander saw him and had his photo taken of Francois with him and his wife. I was very tempted to ask that guy to take a picture of me with Francois then email me the picture, but I didn't want to look like a fool if the fan said no, not gonna do this.
I wished Francois best of luck, that he could fill in for "that other guy" which was Justin, I still couldn't remember his name.
Francois broke into a big grin, because he knew my tongue was lost forever. We then parted ways.
He walked away with his stiff hip, he seemed to be pretty sore. I was thinking, "That's the guy who is replacing Justin temporarily and he has that stiff limp, but come Sunday he will play as if he has never been more loose in his whole life."
I stood there stunned that I couldn't utter Justin's name. Battery dead, too, which was ridiculous.
And looking at him, he is going to do real damage this Sunday, I realized how great of a player Justin is, because Francois looked like a freak of nature to me.
He looked stronger than Alex Boone, since I now have met both linemen.
He was so physically intimidating that I couldn't utter the redneck king's name, Justin Smith.
For sure, this week I am going to practice doing the San Francisco 49er roster roll call.
Seattle, you will go up against Ricky Jean Francois. Seattle, you will go up against um, er, Justin Smith, on ahhh, Sunday.
My 49er-designated assignment this weekend: write Justin Smith's name 100 times.
Next time I see Francois, I am going to wave my arms wildly, and yell, "Justin Smith!"