The lawn chair he always brought with him was green and white, but in his heart, everything was red… Cardinal red.
For thirty years, Colerain High School’s biggest fan, Norb Monning, aka: “Mr. Colerain”, attended every game imaginable. Through victory and defeat, he watched and cheered from that lawn chair, never letting the outcome of the game effect his team spirit. Offering words of wit and wisdom to the youthful players, he became a grandfather-figure who wouldn’t miss a game of one of his hundreds of “grandchildren”. And like all good grandfathers, Norb Monning would often be found with a camera, taking pictures he would later bestow on the athletes along with more of his generous praise. It was as much a part of the Colerain tradition as their cardinal mascot.
Then, the day one knows will come, but hopes never will, came to Colerain. "Mr. Colerain" didn’t show up for the girls’ basketball game; and the students noticed. He wouldn’t miss a game if he could help it. Something had to be wrong. Soon the news was broken that the heart that kept beat to the Colerain Cardinal’s fight song, had stopped beating. At the age of 85, Mr. Norb Monning passed away.
Sometimes teenagers aren't the best at showing the emotions they are feeling, especially for older adults. But the week after Norb Monning's death, the emotion was palpable. It was as if a dimmer switch had turned the brightness of the school down a level or two.
His family was kind enough to give the green and white lawn chair to the school to remind them of their number one fan. But if you ask any of the students "Mr. Colerain" cheered for and was there for over the last thirty years, the lawn chair isn’t necessary to hold his memory. That job is happily being done by the thousands of hearts that have been touched by a fan who turned out to be a true champion.