By Web Staff
VACAVILLE, California (KOVR) — A Vacaville city firefighter is now a viral sensation after an image of him on the phone in a sea of San Francisco fans was broadcast during Sunday’s blowout game.
Eugene Hernandez was sitting front row, decked out in his Dallas blue, when not long into the third quarter his phone started to ring.
“That’s when all the pictures started to roll in, and shortly after that, Dak Prescott threw the interception that was headed straight towards us,” Hernandez said. “I kind of already knew, just looking at the image, it was going to be an instant meme.”
Wearing a decommissioned fire helmet he handmade into a Cowboys hat, he soon found the photo was taking off on social media. Hernandez is used to putting out fires, but it was quickly clear he was starting one on the internet. Matt Moreno is a Vacaville fire captain and posted the meme to the Vacaville Firefighters Association Local 3501 Facebook page asking people to caption the photo.
“The world just caught ahold of this and everyone’s filling in the blanks on what he’s doing on the phone,” Moreno said. “The Cowboys are getting crushed, he’s on the phone, it’s just the perfect opportunity for a meme and everyone’s saying he was calling an Uber, calling his mom, he’s calling in sick to work.”
Moreno said it could not have happened to a better, more humble guy.
“It just turned out to be a cool, positive thing. He’s not a guy who wants a lot of attention,” Moreno said.
Hernandez said he instantly realized how many people were trying to tag him online, so he created his own Instagram page to collect the best captions for the photo. When asked how it felt to be the fan who will always be known as the “Cowboys phone guy,” he said, “I would rather be the Cowboys phone guy, than the Cowboys guy crying on the sideline.”
While losing on the national stage and having your photo be considered an instant internet sensation is bad, the worst part might be having to return to work after a week off.
“The firehouse is ruthless. We hold nothing back and he’s going to get destroyed when he gets back to work,” Moreno said. “Being a Cowboys fan is rough enough, but entering a firehouse after that beating is going to be brutal.”
Hernandez said he’s already getting memes taped to his locker and expects things to only get worse.
“Nothing is going to stop me from being a diehard fan, been a fan since I was born,” Hernandez said.
The Lodi native said he got his love for the Cowboys from his grandmother who he lived with for a time while growing up.
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