Nouvel grad gains Internet fame as University of Michigan icon 'Lloyd Brady'
THOMAS TOWNSHIP, MI — Nouvel Catholic Central High School quarterback
and alumni turned University of Michigan superfan and student David Kazmierski became an Internet
meme and media sensation when fans noted his sideline seats and resemblances to Lloyd Christmas from "Dumb
and Dumber" and Tom Brady.
During his sophomore year, following a family tradition, Kazmierski had front-row seats. After quarterback Denard Robinson’s first game as a starter Sept. 4, 2010, against University of Connecticut, Robinson leapt into the stands right next to where Kazmierski and his friends were sitting. Kazmierski grabbed onto Robinson’s jersey, and someone snapped a photo.
That photo made its way onto the front page of M Go Blog, a popular U-M Sports blog, where blog owner Brian Cook said Kazmierski looked like a mix between New England Patriots and former U-M quarterback Tom Brady and the “Dumb and Dumber” character Lloyd Christmas.
Kazmierski’s alter ego, “Lloyd Brady,” was born.
"It has been quite the experience," he said of the Lloyd Brady spotlight. "I never expected something like that for just being myself. I never went out of my way to be on TV or anything. I was just being myself and doing what I love: going to a Michigan football game."
Kazmierski shared the blog with friends.
“At first I was showing everyone I knew,” Kazmierski said. “Like, ‘Look at all the comments on this post about me!’”
He felt some commenters might have been mocking him for looking like Lloyd Christmas, Jim Carey’s good-natured but dim-witted character in the “Dumb and Dumber” movies. While Kazmierki doesn’t have a chipped front tooth like Christmas, he does have a hairstyle that cuts straight across his forehead.
“That was part of the negative (side of the comments) I saw at first,” he said. “But that’s me, and you can’t deny the hairstyle.”
Kazmierski’s father, who had carried his son to games as a 1- and 2-year-old on his shoulders, also worried that the comments were mocking his son.
“At first I was very concerned,” Randy Kazmierski said. “I have my son away from home for the first time, living on campus and starting to see these things. I thought it could be really negative.”
David Kazmierski also worried that the posts were negative.
“But how bad can it be when you’re being compared to Tom Brady?” he said.
“I was really hoping his real name wouldn’t get out there for a while,” his father added.
“That was probably one of the biggest things I’ve ever experienced,” he said. “When you hear ESPN, well, everyone knows about it.”
On game day, his face is all over campus.
Kazmierski and his roommates made Lloyd Brady shirts to wear to football games, and soon their friends were asking for them.
“Then it kept spreading, and someone said, ‘Hey, I have a connection with Underground Printing, and they really want to do shirts with your picture,'” Kazmierski said.
The designs, all printed in maize and
blue, sport slogans including "I believe in Lloyd Brady," "Lloyd Brady
is my homeboy" and "Where in Ann Arbor is Lloyd Brady?"
“People are always looking for me (at football games), and it’s part of the game day tradition now,” Kazmierski said. “People say, ‘Hey, Lloyd! How’s it going?’”
Kazmierski has also been recognized away from campus.
"When we were in New Orleans (for the 2012 Sugar Bowl) I couldn't walk a block without getting noticed," he said.
Kazmierski said he doesn't mind being stopped and asked for photos.
"I don't see it as ever being annoying," he said. "It's not going to last forever, so I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts. I'll always smile and always take the picture.
"It makes someone else's day, and it makes mine too," he said. "And Denard (Robinson) never refuses a picture."
Kazmierski graduated in May and is working as a substitute teacher, coaching the Nouvel Catholic Central JV men's basketball team and working on his MBA from U-M Flint.
“My kids (students) know about it, and they call me Mr. Brady,” he said. "They love it."
While he is no longer a student, Kazmierski said he will continue to attend U-M football games and cheer for the Wolverines, although he may not be lucky enough to always have a front-row seat.
"That's got to end sometime," he said.
Now an alumnus of the university, Kazmierski, a Thomas Township native and Nouvel Catholic Central grad, still sits with his family near the front row, and “people are always looking for me,” he said.
When he was accepted to U-M, he didn’t think twice about attending and again got tickets near the front of the student section.
“It was my dream school,” he said. “As soon as I got my acceptance letter, I didn’t care about anything else.”