CLEVELAND - A Painesville, Ohio man became an instant internet sensation when he corralled an opossum like a boss during the Browns’ tilt against the Jets on Thursday night. Minutes after cell phone video captured him plucking the opossum was posted to Instagram, the video had amassed hundreds of thousands of views.
Greg Pleasant doesn’t use social media. However, right now, he’s plastered all over it. Video of his casual capture of the marsupial spread faster than the spectators trying to get away from the rat-like animal.
Nbd, just a Browns fan catching a possum tonight at the stadium pic.twitter.com/MxMWFWh4jS
— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) September 21, 2018
"I think they scurried faster than the [opossum],” Pleasant said. “It’s incredible. I've never seen anything like it before.”
True to form, the lifelong Browns fan and season ticket holder was in his seat at FirstEnergy Stadium 90 minutes ahead of kickoff. About a half-hour before game time, he saw his fellow Browns fans trying to run away from the opossum, which had weaseled its way into Pleasant’s section. Security and other stadium staff spent several minutes trying to wrangle the animal, but to no avail.
“I just figured I’d check it on YouTube,” Pleasant said.
Wait — seriously?
“Seriously, I checked YouTube before I grabbed the animal,” Pleasant said. “First thing I searched on YouTube was how to grab an opossum and how to catch an opossum. It said grab it by its tail.”
Pleasant followed the instructions perfectly, snatching the animal by its tail before placing it in a cardboard box. He earned an ovation from other fans who were watching. A man three rows down captured the animal’s capture and shared it to Instagram.
“He looked at me and said, ‘You’re going viral.’ By the first quarter there was a quarter million views,” Pleasant said. “By halftime, I went to go get a soda and people were asking to get selfies with me.”
The video eventually came across Tony Madalone’s Twitter feed. Madalone owns locally-based Fresh Brewed Tees.
“Originally I didn’t think we were going to do something. I thought we were just going to do a social post, but then everybody started retweeting it and hitting us up and texting me,” Madalone said. “I said, ‘I think we gotta do an opossum shirt. And here we are.”
That’s exactly what he’s doing as Fresh Brewed Tees is taking orders for the ‘Victory Possum’ t-shirts. Madalone said he’s already received several orders.
— Fresh Brewed Tees (@FreshBrewedTees) September 21, 2018
“Yeah, I didn’t expect to wake up this morning and be selling possum shirts,” Madalone said. “We’re trying to capitalize. We’re also trying to be the voice of the fan.”
As for the opossum, a Browns spokesperson said the animal was humanely released outside of the stadium.