Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sober, Ruly Fan And Drunk, Unruly Fan Form Unlikely Bond

Chicago, IL. (Mar. 26) - Rooting for the Second City's sports teams has been the common denominator in an unlikely bond that is forming between Justin Michael, a clean, sober, 25-year-old Web designer, and Darrell Gagnon, an almost constantly inebriated, unemployed 29-year-old.

"Justin's a real cool dude," Gagnon said in between periods of a recent Blackhawks game, as he half-slumped against a restroom door, shnockered, while Michael stood in line for beer -- Gagnon's -- and his own nachos. "He's like, awesome, man. Justin rocks!," Gagnon added before a dizzy spell nearly sent him to the floor.

For his part, Michael shrugs off his new friend's loud, obnoxious behavior at sporting events.

"Darrell doesn't mean half of what he says. Maybe not even a quarter. I'd say he means about 22 percent of what he says. He's a real nice guy, deep down. So when he berated Bears quarterback Rex Grossman about his wheelchair-bound, learning disabled nephew, it was mainly the beer talking," Michael says.

Gagnon, who doesn't recall the Grossman incident, or much of anything previous to last Thursday, agreed.

"I just get a little excited, man. I'm like REALLY into it. The beer makes me louder, that's all," Gagnon said as he waddled into the concourse at the United Center, clumsily bumping into several fans, some of whom he responded to with a hearty "Hawks RULE!"

Justin Michael (top) and unlikely friend Darrell Gagnon (bottom)

Michael admits that sometimes he "sinks into my seat" when Gagnon goes off on one of his beer-fueled, profanity-laced tirades.

"I know I'm responsible for him -- I buy his beer because he never has any money -- but I'm human, too. I don't always want people to know I'm with Darrell."

Michael said the two met at a Bulls game during last season's playoffs.

"Darrell was bumming a ride back from the stadium after the game," Michael explained. "I thought it was kind of dangerous, to have him out there, in traffic, trying to flag someone down. So I ran out there, grabbed his arm, and pulled him back onto the curb."

The two forged an almost immediate bond -- with Michael's Internet career being fascinating to Gagnon.

"Actually, Darrell wanted to know if I'd ever designed any porn sites," Michael said. "Then he'd call me or IM me several times a day, wondering if I could get him into several adult sites without actually buying a membership."

Michael was unable to help satisfy Gagnon's perverted desires, but that didn't stop the two fans from becoming friends.

"Darrell knows I always got his back," Michael said. "The dude's got nobody else, really. His mom -- he doesn't even know where she is. And his dad, he thinks, is doing time somewhere."

Gagnon, after making his way back to his seat for the second period, echoed Michael's support.

"JUSTIN!! WHOO-HOO!! YEAH!", he screamed before being told to sit down and shut up.

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