Gut Rumbles

February 09, 2007

I'll be damned

Originally published October 25, 2003

The Mighty Eagles spread their wings and flew today! They won 26-13 and the other team scored seven of their points with one second left on the clock at the end of the game. I didn't recognize those Eagles on the field today. They played good football. (As one parent suggested, "I guess they needed eight practice games to learn how to quit losing.")

Quinton did something today that made me proud. He got a couple of war-marks on his helmet from making good tackles, but his finest moment came on a kickoff return. Quinton is one of the side men around the guy the coach wants to return every kickoff. All season long, the coach has told Quinton to FALL ON THE BALL if it comes his way.

All season long, I've told Quinton, FALL ON IT if you are surrounded; but if you've got open field around you, pick up the ball and RUN. He did that today.

The ball came sideways off the kicker's foot and went bouncing crazily down the left side of the field. Quinton had to run his ass off to catch up with it, and I saw him turn and look upfield when he had the ball in his hands. "RUN!" I yelled from the stands. I know that he didn't hear me, but my boy picked up the ball and ran.

Bejus, did he run. He was a snake-hipped hellion, cutting through tacklers left and right. A big wad of enemy bodies swallowed him somewhere around the other team's 40 yard line, and thought that my boy would be crushed. All of a sudden, I saw him pop out of there with nothing but open field between him and the goal line. I thought he was gone for a touchdown.

Some little, nine year-old bastard in a green jersey showed up from somewhere, stuck out a hand and got Quinton by one foot. Quinton fell 50 yards from where he picked up that kickoff and ten yards from the goal line. He left the field to tremendous cheers and I was jumping up and down. "GOOD JOB, BUDDY! WAY TO GO! GOOD RUN!" His team scored a touchdown on the next play.

As usual, Quinton was the smallest boy on the field. I was SO PROUD to watch him run like that. I thought that my chest was going to break.

Damn! I wonder if my father ever felt that way when he watched ME play football?

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