Updated: Sep 14, 2020
He was there for the OJ Simpson 2,003 rushing mark at Shea Stadium in 1973 on that snowy day in New York. There’s not much Lenny does not remember about his childhood memories of his favorite teams, the Bills and the Oklahoma Sooners. So when I got this call from this crazed Oklahoma Sooner fan talking about the greatness of the Sooner tradition, I had to just sit back and listen. His name, Leonard Engleman, works in Warehouse Logistics in Danbury, Connecticut. Right away, I could see we shared the same kind of passion for college football. It’s like we had been friends our entire life.
In a world that creates divisions based on the politics of the day, one thing that brings us all back together is our shared love for sports.Lenny loves his OU Sooners like nobody’s business.I just happen to be a big Nebraska Cornhuskers fan.So in 1971, both Lenny and I were watching that famous “Game of the Century” between the #1 Cornhuskers and #2 Oklahoma Sooners.
Back in the day, games like that were often played at high noon or 3:00. Many stadiums had yet to have stadium lights for night games so you would plan your day for those early games. Thousands of miles away, two kids (one white and one black) with great passion for their favorite teams, were watching the same game with the same anticipation and excitement.
Today, Lenny lives in Connecticut and is a big time sports collector. You can guess what’s at the top of his list – Sooner stuff! His passion goes all the way back to the Greg Pruitt days. In that game of the Century, that happened to be his first game that he watched on TV. Here he was 10 years old and like any sports fanatic in the making, Lenny cried uncontrollably that Oklahoma lost. His pops could not figure out why? From that moment on Oklahoma football was in my blood! So today, guys like this is who I have to deal with when I turn into my alter ego called “The Stadium Guy”.
Hi, my name is Reginald Rutledge, and I am known as “The Stadium Guy”. Practically, since that 1971 OU-Nebraska game, I have been a college football fan. Everything about the game, I love – so I try to combine my knowledge as an engineer and architect with my love for college football to have created this company called “Stadiums ‘Art Us”. That’s how Lenny found me!
As “The Stadium Guy”, I go across the country studying the architecture of these great sports cathedrals and coliseums, hang out with the fans at tailgate parties, get all dressed up for game day, walk the campuses, and go to the games with my clients. Then I fly back home to my Stadiums ‘Art Us.net offices, and get with my engineering team and build the stadium that my client wants.
The funny thing about these trips is you often times build friendships with these clients. Now it doesn’t always happen that way but your shared love for sports and to know you’ve got to do the very best job for that customer, he or she believes in you. To me, that is vitally important. So now, for Lenny and me, we’ve got a football date set for OU-Nebraska in 2021.
One of the things about creating these stadiums is that you get to understand why this particular fan is crazy as hell. Their stories are colorful and full of life.It’s what make doing the work so enjoyable.You always feel a sense of responsibility to bring his vision from an architectural canvas to life. This is one of those moments when Lenny and I talked and he told me this.
· “Over the years my passion grew more & more & finally this past October, I finally had the time & money to make the trip to Dallas for the Red River Shootout & see my beloved Sooners play in person for the very first time! When I walked into the cotton bowl & looked at the field & saw my Sooners for the first time I was truly overcome with emotion & started to cry & looked up to the sky & thanked God for finally bringing me to this moment!! Next year I hope to make my first trip to Norman which I know will be another emotional moment!" What a wuss! Nah, I kid Lenny. Lenny is a great guy and family man. His cars are Crimson and Cream. Rooms in his house are Crimson and Cream. He owns more than 100 OU shirts and all kinds of OU paraphanelia. I know his wife rolls her eyes when planning to surprise him with a gift. Surprise! Something OU, huh?
But these are the kinds of fans I love to work for! His stadium was $1800 investment that he looks forward to using as the centerpiece in his own version of Sooner Nation.
We here at Stadiums ‘Art Us thank you Leonard Engleman for your patronage of Stadiums ‘Art Us, and I, “The Stadium Guy” will make sure we get this done to your liking. Thank you very much! Go Sooners!