Dear Panther fans: I was able to get a rare and topical interview with David Gettis, a supremely talented wide receiver who has been beset with injuries and thus kept from realizing his dream of making all of Panthers Nation rejoice. Here is the unedited version of our conversation.
Robert: Thank you for taking your time.
Gettis: No problem. I have plenty of time. Just nursing these injuries. You know, it's a bummer not to be out on the field. Kills me. Funny thing is, if a guy wanted to show just enough talent and then clutch his leg and say, "Oww, Oww...Where's the doc?" you can make a pretty sweet living without doing anything. Not that I did that...but it would work.
R:Can you share with your fans how that process works? When they cut you.
G: Well coach called me to say I was cut. I said..."Damn. Do I still get paid?" and he said, "Yeah". So that took the sting out of it.
I told him it was bull and that it was only because Hixon is "Gettleman's boy". Coach said, "Yeah, well" and paused, "you are Hurney's boy". Which made me think, "Hell ya...Hurney is the chit!". But coach said maybe I didn't want to use that in any resumes for future work.
I get it, I should be confident but humble.
R:Those injuries have been brutal to you. As a member of the Carolina Panthers fan base, I hope you know there is a ton of anger out there that you were cut. Do you understand why the team cut you?
G: Not really. I mean I get the injury thing. But everyone gets injured - it is football. It just shows I am willing to sacrifice my body for the team.When you are fighting against the enemy, you don't think about your own safety.
R: But you were in practice when you got hurt and were gone for the 2011 season.
G: Yeah but I fought and rehabbed like a Mofo! Just a short 16 months later, I was able to come back and play. I didn't catch a single pass, but coach said they were using me as a decoy. You see, when I am on the field teams zone in on me and it frees up the other guys.
R: I did not know that.... Catscratch Exclusive there. Your injury this time- It came while you were warming up -no contact?
G: Exactly. That just shows what a baller I am. Even in practice...even warming up...even stretching...I am in game mode. When I was there stretching my leg, my brain declared the tightness the enemy and I attacked it. Hand to hammy combat. And I won! My hamstring is sorry it took on the likes of me. Know that.
R: You are an impressive talent. It is a shame you have been hampered by these injuries. Surely the team could have used you. Do you think they should have found a roster spot for you anyhow?
G: Of course I do. Look, even when I wasn't playing, I was an asset. Whenever a guy came back to the sidelines, who was the first one to say, "Nice Job" and hand him Gatorade? This guy!
When I couldn't be on the field I turned my focus to being a locker room guy. I kept up the morale. I made sure everyone was positive, happy and laughing.
R: Really. Did you pull pranks? Tell jokes?
G: Nah, not really. I have a way about me. I could say stuff and guys just smile. They pat my back and say, "This guy!"
R: Can you give us an example?
G: Hmmm?..Ok, like, even after I was cut, right? I still came in. And I told everyone not to be mad that I was gone. Don't worry about me. With my talent I would be playing this year somewhere, but that I still loved them.
And the room erupted. Smitty...ya know, Steve...the 1A to my 1B...he was in hysterics. He hugs me and says, "Classic". He is laughing so hard he has to lean on me to stand up, tears welling in his eyes.
He caught his breath for a moment and said, "You, (gasp..laughing), will be on a team this year".
I said, "Thanks man. It means a lot you believe in me."
Then the tears streamed down his face harder and he fell to the floor, still laughing, and said, "Stop...It hurts too much", as he grabbed his side.
So, you see, even when the core of the team was crying and in physical pain because I was not gonna be around to take them to the promise land, I was still able to lift their spirits. That is what I brought to the team.
R: So what do you think the future is going to bring for David Gettis?
G: Teams are playing hard to get. Money is tight for a ton of the teams that need my talents and I think they are moving around things so they can give me an offer worthy of me.
If they can't afford me, I have tons of opportunities outside of football.
R: That is great. Like what?
G: I can do endorsements, announcing, acting.
G: Hell yeah! My first acting gig was Mrs. Reynold's first grade Christmas play. Everyone said I was great. Mom even sent in my pictures to an agent. I was ten times better than that Erkel kid. In fact, the next 3 years straight I won the lead in the school play. Yet invariably, someone would say, "Break a leg". I did, and the understudy actually went on stage.
R: Tough break.
G:Story of my life.
R: So have you got any specific acting spots set up?
G: Not yet. I still want to play in my prime. Plus I may want to go more into the science field.
R: You are a scientist?
G: Well, I have numerous science awards.
R: Wow. As a fan...for the fans, tell us more.
G: I feel like I am bragging. But, OK, In Junior High I won Honorable Mention both years for my science fair project.
R: Science Fair?
G: Yeah, I was the first person ever to tell the world that electricity hides in potatoes. That is why America needs more potatoe farms.
R: Did you say "Potatoe" with an E?
G: Yeah , you got good ears. But that is corn. You aren't gonna trick me in the vegetacious sciences. Corn gots no electricity.
R:Fair enough. So you are going to become a scientist?
G: It is one of my many options considering my early success that I never followed through on. I am thinking that a prospect like me would be highly sought after by NASA or Mitt.
G: Yeah, the big science-y school.
R: You mean M... I....T?
G I think it is pronounced Mitt. You should be ashamed as a reporter...LOL (he actually said LOL). Hooked on Phonics...Look into it. Maybe I will write a great novel. I knew over 20 letters before 3rd grade.
R: We will all look forward to that. Thank you for your time. I, and if I can speak for Panther Nation, we all appreciate it.
G: No problem. I have always been happy to give hope and happiness to the fans.
R: Yes. That you delivered on.
NOTE: THIS STORY IS BY THE USER "Robert.Russ.33." He was having technical difficulties and was unable to get it posted.
Robert J. Russ is a lifelong Panthers fan (life of the team not himself) and North Carolina resident. He writes articles on the Panthers, fantasy football and Op Ed for Water Cooler Sports.