- Mar 19, 2019
Jeremiah appreciated the numerous ways Brian had been there for him through thick and thin.
It turns out that Jeremiah was able to return support to help Brian through a difficult time.
The two were supposed to go fishing on Saturday, Sept. 1. When Jeremiah called at 9:30 that morning to check in, Brian said some news came up, he couldn’t talk about it and also couldn’t go fishing.
“I heard something in his voice. He sounded really down and out about something,” Jeremiah recalled. “I said, ‘Is it something with your family? Is everything OK?’ He said, ‘I’ll tell you about it tomorrow, but I can’t really speak on it now.’
“He called me later that night, ‘Man, I got cut.’
‘Yeah, I got let go. It’s part of being in the NFL. It’s what happens. It’s a business.’
“He said, ‘This is some of the toughest news I’ve ever gotten.’
“I said, ‘Let’s get you on the boat. Let’s go fishing and get your mind off of it.’ ”
When Jeremiah got to Brian’s house the next day, he gave him a big hug.
“He was actually pulling his locker room sign out of his truck,” Jeremiah said. “He had that in his hand and a big bin with all of his stuff, his football gloves and everything. He was pretty emotional, and I was pretty emotional.
“I said, ‘Everything happens for a reason, bud. Let’s just go fishing, get your mind off it and have a great day.’
Brian didn’t say anything immediately. He reached into his bin, grabbed a pair of cleats, one of the last pairs he ever played in, autographed them and said thanks for being a great friend.
Jeremiah, who attended Minnesota’s home preseason game against Seattle, placed the shoes in his trophy case.
“Nobody at the time knew this was going to be his last time on the field,” Jeremiah said. “I literally got to watch him play in those cleats for the last time. I never, for a million years, thought it was going to be the last time I saw Brian on the U.S. Bank Stadium field.”
The men went out on the water and reeled ’em in.
“He was hooting and hollering,” Jeremiah said. “We were having all sorts of fun until this guy moved in on us.”
There have been other days that Jeremiah and Brian won’t forget — like the time they caught “more than 200 smallies” but ended the day with Brian’s 21-foot Ranger coming off the trailer (Brian and Jeremiah were able to maneuver the boat back up to the trailer) — but perhaps none that were more important.
Before Brian headed out for his first fall not in Minnesota since he was drafted in 2007, he headed back to the Springer home in Wabasha.
“He was pretty distraught, he came down to the house and we just sat on the patio and talked,” Chad remembered. “It was about six days after he was cut. He brought his Parker down, and my Parker took him fishing. We just talked about life and looked down.
“He said, ‘It’s going to be more of that.’
“I said, ‘Man, I envy you. I’m sure it’s tough now, but you’re going to get to take that little man out fishing for the next 20 years. You can show him video of you playing football, but this is something you two get to do together, and I think you’re going to love it. You could tell he was happy about the new chapter he was going to be able to do.”