Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I Missed First Practice 29 Years Ago

Ninth grade football! Every boy at Douglass Jr. High was talking about trying out for football the summer we were about to become ninth graders.
I was one of them.
I could pass the football unlike anyone at Campbell Park. I was always the quarterback. I INSISTED I be the quarterback.
I boasted to anyone who was around I was going to try out for the Douglass Lions football team.
I was gonna pass the Douglass Lions to victory every week. I was gonna be The Man!
I remember the morning before tryouts going to bed early to get my rest. First meeting was at 8 am sharp. I was gonna be the first one there......
I overslept.
Woke up at 7:45am. My friend Sergio and I were gonna go to the meeting together.
We went together, we were just late.
I remember we both were too embarrassed to walk in. I thought Coach Smith was gonna rip us a new one.
We stood around deciding what to do.
Sergio decided to go home. I did too.
I'm sure if we had walked in, we would have took some razzing from the guys and that would have been the end of it.
I always wondered what would have happened if I went to that first meeting. In my then teenage mind, I would have been the starting quarterback, the big man on campus, being every girls dream at school.
But looking back, reality tells me I would have been knocked around like a tackling dummy.
I was 5 foot nothing, a scrawny 120 pounds. I would have been too short to see over the line. Passing with a real football other than a Nerf football like I did at Campbell Park would have been a challenge. I could throw like Joe Montana with a Nerf ball.
There was one other obstacle that would have prevented me from football glory, and it wasn't on the gridiron. She lived with me, she was my mom.
My mom would not have signed the permission slip allowing me to play. She thought I would have gotten paralyzed by a freak hit or just plain torn to shreds. (Gee, thanks mom!)
I told her that I would have lifted weights to get stonger. She said I was too weak to lift weights. (Gee, thanks mom!)
She insist it would have been a miserable experience.
Well, the Douglass Lions went on to win the championship without me. The guys were celebrities around school wearing their football jerseys around school on game day. I was just another schmuck in street clothes.
I could never bring myself to watch the games. I felt like I should have been out there. I had a afternoon paper route that conflicted me from watching the games anyway.
Hard to believe it's almost thirty years later. Where does the time go?
Now I'm on vacation getting ready to watch a cousin participate in his first practice with pads.
I'm sure in thirty years he'll have better memories of football than I do.

No comments:

Post a Comment