ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan had won its season opener against Connecticut in 2010 and quarterback Denard Robinson, in his first career start, had played the game of his life.
Robinson ran toward the stands and jumped into the crowd. In the front row of the student section, David Kazmierski cheered with his friends. For years he had been attending games, usually with his parents in their front row seats. Then a Michigan student, he managed to snag a front row spot in the student section.
Kazmierski caught Robinson, held onto his jersey with his right hand, a photo was snapped, and two legends were born. The first is well known, as Robinson became the center of the Michigan football universe. The second grew more slowly.
Kazmierski's look -- a combination of former Michigan quarterback/NFL superstar Tom Brady and Lloyd Christmas from the movie "Dumb and Dumber" -- made him a curiosity of the fervent Michigan fan website MGoBlog. Kazmierski appeared on television again the next week.
The proprietor of MGoBlog, Brian Cook, noticed and threw it on his front page along with a name: Lloyd Brady.
The MGoBlog community started taking Kazmierski's picture and placing him in different historical photographs. It spawned a phenomenon.
No one could have predicted he would become an unlikely face of Michigan football. At first, Kazmierski and his family were concerned about ridicule, which Cook explained was not the case. As Michigan struggled, Kazmierski's face became a positive rallying cry.
"Brian said something about it," Kazmierski said. "He's like, 'We're not making fun of you, dude. People are comparing you to Tom Brady. That's a compliment.'
"Then I kind of embraced it and people started stopping me around campus, like, 'You're Lloyd Brady.' "
Being Lloyd Brady
Kazmierski never expected any of this. He had been doing what his family had done for years -- sitting in the front row and rooting for Michigan. He didn't go to games searching for ways to be on television or have his picture taken. It just happened.
His parents understood after the Gator Bowl at the end of 2010, Kazmierski's junior year at Michigan. Walking around Jacksonville, Fla., he kept being stopped with his family. This had happened in Ann Arbor, but in a different city people would see him and yell, "Lloyd Brady," or stop for a picture.
"They were like, 'This is unbelievable,' " Kazmierski said.
At first, most of the random "Lloyd Brady" references happened on campus, where Kazmierski was a student from 2008 until 2012, or at Michigan Stadium. As the legend grew, so did recognition.
A friend saw someone in a Michigan bar in Los Angeles wearing one of three T-shirts made to honor Lloyd Brady. While at a beer festival in Frankenmuth, Mich., he was stopped. On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., a passerby on the street asked for a picture with him.
In one of Michigan adjunct professor John U. Bacon's classes, everyone in the class knew Kazmierski the first day -- not by his given name, but by his pseudonym.
"I've never seen anything like this in my days," said Bacon, a Michigan sports historian and the author of three Michigan-related books.
At the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, he said he couldn't go a block on Bourbon Street without being asked for a picture. He made a cameo appearance in a video by local musician Pat Stansik called, "I Love You, Denard." As it started to overflow, his father told him one thing: If everyone has their 15 minutes of fame, this might be his.
But it has spanned the past two-plus years.
"It's been wild," said Andrew Wehner, a friend of Kazmierski's. "People will stop him, shake his hand and say it's an honor to meet him."
Lloyd Brady almost walks on
Kazmierski figured his figurative 15 minutes came before he reached Michigan. As a high school quarterback at Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central, he led his team to a state championship in 2007.
He figured that was it. His high school coach, Mike Boyd, tried to convince him to play at a Division III school, but once Michigan accepted him, Kazmierski would be a Wolverine in the stands, as he had been on Saturdays throughout his childhood.
Briefly, though, he thought about walking on to the football team, encouraged by one of his high school teammates, former Michigan fullback John McColgan.
"John would talk to me about it a little bit, but I never really considered it too much," Kazmierski said. "With Rich Rod coming in, I'm not that fast. I considered [playing in college] but once I got into Michigan, I wasn't going anywhere else.
"I grew up a Michigan kid. That was my dream school, and nothing was stopping me from coming here."
When the Lloyd Brady phenomenon sprouted, McColgan experienced it firsthand. He and his family went to dinner with Kazmierski at the Sugar Bowl last season.
"People came into the restaurant, recognized who I was and had no idea who he was," Kazmierski said. "It was ridiculous.
"We just laughed at it."
15 minutes ending?
Kazmierski thought last season's Ohio State game -- in which he sprinted from his seats across the field to hug his father after the Wolverines beat the Buckeyes -- might have been the end.
The last two games of this Michigan regular season could be it for Kazmierski in his front row perch as he hunts for a job in financial services, which could mean an out-of-state move.
Even if he leaves, he will not stop being a fan. And he, as Lloyd Brady, has become part of Michigan lore.
"You're not going to be this forever," Kazmierski said. "I guess I always thought about it, like I'm going to grow up, go somewhere.
"Won't be in the front forever. This will probably be my last year, really."
While he is, the camera is likely to follow.