Lakewood, OH native Nicky Gerome has started a new Browns Backers club in Antarctica! Nicky's parents, now retired, are from the Cleveland area and had season tickets for somewhere around 35 years. Nicky earned a degree in Sociology at Muskingum College and started working at an outdoor education center in New Hampshire. She spent 9 summers there and 3 years working full time as the Adventure Trips Program Coordinator. During some of that seasonal work, she took a gig down in Antarctica at McMurdo Station.
"The whole reason folks come down here is for scientific exploration. The US has 3 bases at McMurdo which used to be military. The National Science Foundation runs the program, they hire a labor contractor to perform the functions of a "town" and scientists write proposals and get grants to come down and do research. The science is fascinating and ranges from weather, ice core drilling, seismology, glaciology, study of penguins, seals, fish, and on and on. Pretty cool stuff."
In 2004-2006 Nicky had several different jobs as part of this program. She even had the opportunity to work at South Pole for 2 weeks. After the 2006 season she took a full time job in New Hampshire, but them she jumped on an opportunity to return to what is called The Ice. "Last year and this year I have been working in the carpentry shop. It's one of the best jobs around here. We have the good fortune to go out into the deep field which are remote camps on the plateau where we fly in on skier planes and into the dry valleys - the 2% of Antarctica that is not ice and has helicopter access only. As a carpenter, I help in setting up camps, build boxes, crates, decks, traverse berthing units, replace windows, fix doors, and a billion other things. This season I will be out in the deep field for three straight months, sleeping out of a mountain tent, building, maintaining, and taking down remote camp sites. It is all in the name of science."
So how do the Browns fit in? During Nicky's first season in at McMurdo Station (and consecutive seasons since) she proudly wore a Browns hat. Nicky said that helped her meet a handful of other Clevelanders and that each year she meets about 10-15 more Browns fans. "With my families love of the team, I decided to start the Backers club. It's hard to catch games down here, but there definitley is a football following." If it is noon on Monday morning in Antarctica, it is 8 p.m. on Sunday in Cleveland. "We have a few TV stations, which include ESPN, so we get games and highlights." Nicky says that Cleveland games don't often get aired but when they are on, she wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to watch them or she tapes the game on her VCR. "It's old school around here, says Nicky." Everyone in town that cares about football knows that I'm the Browns fan. I wear my orange and brown proudly."