The Royce Freeman Fan Club Idea


Royce Freeman 

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am signing up, and I hope you are too. There is no current Royce Freeman Fan Club (RFCC) but I hope to start one! The only fan club I have ever been in is the Jesus Freak Fan Club, but that is another issue.

Anyway, for the football challenged, Royce Freeman is a fine young man, (whom I have never met), from Imperial. In high school, he set records running for the Imperial Tigers, and for the last two years has received rave reviews from the PAC 12, where he plays for the Oregon Ducks college football team. He continues to do well, being named the PAC 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2014, and last year made the First Team PAC 12.

I began watching Freeman his sophomore year at Imperial High School, and attended many home games for the next three years. My wife is an Imperial graduate, so at games, she could see her Tiger sisters while I watched the best high school running back in Southern California history. (He set the record for most yards).

So began my love affair with this dynamic Duck. I am not glued to ESPN news, but he was mentioned in the Heisman Trophy discussions, and although he is not at the top of the list, I think he is possibly in the Top Ten.

Greg Tatum of Brawley takes his grandson Ivan Valadez to University of Oregan in July to get Royce Freeman's autograph.
Freeman fan, Greg Tatum of Brawley, took his grandson Ivan Valadez to University of Oregon in July to get Royce Freeman’s autograph.

You can become a member of the RFCC by just praying for God’s protection on Royce as he rolls into defensive backfields. Many of our Heisman Trophy winners are Christians and I give credit to all the saints who pray for them, their God given talents and all the hard work they put into their craft.

Thanks also go to all the family members who continually support young athletes. Come to think of it, I am in my sport-playing grandkids fan clubs, so I guess my introduction was wrong!

Since Mr. Freeman has shown himself again and again to be worthy of your prayers, attention and support, why not a fan club?

This is not to feed the ego of Royce. He is a humble man from all I have read and heard. I sat next to his pastor at one Imperial game and got a little insight into this remarkable, responsible young man. The reason for the club is for fun, fundraising, fellowship and maybe food!

To organize a club, all you need are people, a place and a plan. Five people will do. Twelve disciples changed the world, so I think a minimum of five is necessary.

If you want to sign up, either write a little response to this column or drop me a line at 760-353-2467. If you are a cyber guy or gal, email me at

Now there is no big time crunch, but the first game I believe is September 3, the same day as my

Greg Tatum stands next to Freeman for a photo op at the University of Oregan during Duck football training.
Greg Tatum stands next to Freeman for a photo op at the University of Oregon during Duck football training.

grandson’s first Pop Warner game. I will be in football heaven, once again, the first week in September.

Getting a place is a little tricky. You need a big screen TV that can access many channels. Oregon is often on the major networks, ESPN or on the PAC 12 channel. We can’t miss any games, so we have to have the technology right.

Also, it needs to accommodate a number of people. It is hard to predict what the turnout will be. My first idea was a church, but too many people worry about getting denominational cooties. I worship at Valley Baptist, but if you have good music, food or preaching, I will show up at your church. If it is bad preaching, like Pastor Wrong, I will probably pass. I think a neutral location is safest, maybe a community center. I checked with Ricochet Rec and they weren’t interested. Location is a committee problem, resolved through teamwork and discussion.

So what would be the plan? I suggest charging  $5-$10 at the door with proceeds going to a charity, a mission need, or something Royce himself could decide on.

Entrance would give you the opportunity to eat snacks, hang out with some saints, make friends and just get totally excited with some other Freeman fanatics. Sorry, no beer folks, although it is a great fundraiser when you sell them for $8 like at the stadiums. The fan club would be more based on faith and fun, than fundraising, but again, decisions to be made by the committee crew.

Just an idea, but it could be great. Even if it doesn’t happen, I got another column done for the Jim Shinn fan club (which doesn’t exist and there is no plan.)


Jim Shinn ThumbnailJim Shinn has lived in the valley for 57 years and was home-schooled in the 1950s. He was been a counselor at schools, health clinics, drug treatment centers and is the former director of the Son-Shine Counseling Center. He has written for the Alpine Sun and the Desert Voice and has published two books, “Bedtime Storeezzz” and “Faith and Loving on the Way to Heaven.” He taught at IVC, SDSU and the University of Redlands and writes to keep sane in a very strange world. He loves Jesus and serves Christ at Valley Baptist Church in Brawley.



  1. Jim is no longer the director of the Son-Shine Counseling Center. He retired from that and his other job for health reasons. Amy Bullock, LCSW is the new director (540-4335). Everything else is up to date!!

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