I want to share a blog that he posted at the early part of the month. It's really funny, and thought you all would enjoy the story. - David
Okay..I want ya'll to know that the following account of my first football game is not my fault. Even as a child when my dad was alive,he and my uncles and other males involved with our family were not avid sports fans. We didn't watch a lot of TV,much less sports. I wasn't exposed to sports like a lot of kids my age were.
I will warn you...this is a very graphic account of what can happen when you put someone like me on a football field,not having a clue as to what was going on. I haven't shared this story with many.Why? Well,because a while back I was sitting in my girlfriend's house,and decided to share this little story. About halfway through it,she was BEGGING me to shut up..so she could breathe!
I'd never heard anyone laugh that hard. So,being forewarned, I will try to explain this in detail so's ya'll will get the full affect of it.
Okay..As I said before,when my dad was alive we didn't watch sports. After dad passed away in 1964, 3 of my sisters and I went to live with my grandma in Windyville, Missouri. We watched Gunsmoke,Bonanza,the Lone Ranger and such and such,but spent the vast majority of our time outside playing on the about 5000 acres that was comprised of my grandma's farm and all the farms around us..all owned by relatives.
We did catch the evening news. It was all about Viet Nam. We were geographically challenged back then. On the rare occasion, an airplane would fly over our farm, we'd all run out and watch it and see if it was going to drop a bomb. As far as we were concerned, Vietnam was just a few miles away from us,so I can just see the pilot's view as he passed by grandma's farm...4 little kids out there staring up at them.
Well,after grandma died in 1966, my sisters and I were put in this home and then that home. I ended up in Owasso,Okla with my aunt and uncle. I was about to embark on my journey into 3rd grade.
Just so's you'll know,I was short back then..really short. When someone was to yell "DUCK!" I could ignore them,because,well..I was already there.
Well,I arrived at school,the new kid. Everyone was nice to me and all..but after school,I'd see all these guys out there on the playground in these fancy uniforms knocking each other over.
Looked like fun to me.
I went and talked to the tallest person there. Turned out he was the coach,and I asked him if I could join the festivities the other kids were in...knocking each other over with all the pads and such. He said "Sure"...and told me I could come to the game Saturday and suit up.
Back then,we didn't have games on Sundays...That was Church day and it was actually still respected back then.
Well, I went home and told the folks I needed a football outfit. I wanted to play football.
That's when the trouble started.
Seems there was a garage sale a block or two over and they had an old football outfit for sale..cheap...so I got my very first football outfit.
I didn't bother putting it on until it was time to go to the game Saturday.
Mind you..I was a little fella back then...and it seems that this football outfit was actually made for a 400 pound linebacker.
After about an hour of questions and such...my uncle instructed me on what goes where and how this goes and so on.
Getting in the car with it all on was a whole other problem.
I made it into the car...got drove to and dropped off at the ball field and I was on my own.
My thigh pads were 4 times wider than my legs..my shoulder pad were so big I could hold my arms straight out and they'd only go about 3/4 of the way to the end. One good breeze and I'd of blown away. My helmet might as well been an efficiency apartment to me. I wobbled across to the field looking like a troll doll in a Buzz Lightyear suit...not to mention the salad bowl down the front of my pants.
Okay..now the fun began.
The attention of a 3rd grader back then wasn't all that much longer than the attention span of a senior is now. The game went on and on an on,to me anyway,and I was standing on the sidelines,my arms dangling at my side,and since my helmet didn't even come close to my head at any point,I could look all around and my helmet would never move.
It was the 4th quarter,and,according to what I remember being said,we were "Kicking the other teams Butt...6-0." I don't remember anything about what had happened,nor how we had aquired those 6 points. I was intrigued by this big bug crawling close to my shoes,and had been staring at it for quite some time when I started hearing this echo in my head..and it wouldn't stop.
Turns out it was the coach popping me on top of my helmet trying to get my attention.
I turned around to face him..staring him right in the kneecaps and had to lean WAYYYYY back so's I could catch a glimpse of his face.
He was telling me to go in.
The game. Go play.
Oh. And do what?
Danny will show you.
So,I trotted out on the field and went to the little meeting they have between every play.
I went to the wrong meeting and got chastised by the referee.
I got to the right group..we made our plans and everyone clapped at the same time and went "BREAK".
I stood there,awaiting further instruction.
As the coach had promised,Danny came and led me to my position,and instructed me to tackle the guy with the ball.
Okay..I can do that.
Well...after a "HUT HUT HUT" or so,mass confusion took over. I was running across the field after the person I thought had the ball,and when I noticed he didn't have it,I turned around and "WHAP"!!!!!!! The kid with the football had thrown it and it hit,and stuck,in the face guard in my huge helmet.
So,If you can imagine a person with a cat on his face,trying to get it off desperately with both hand,that's what I had to have looked like trying to get that football dislodged from my helmet.
It finally broke loose,I had the football in my hands,and looked towards the sidelines. I think everyone on the east side of the field all pointed towards the north and said in unison "Go that way"!!!
So..I took off that way. Why..I didn't know at the time,but I was good a following instructions.
I was on the west side of the field,headed north as fast as I could. I couldn't see anyone,but I could hear what I construed as thunder coming up from behind me.
I immediately started fasting and praying...and running harder.
Well, I can only assume that our opponents school didn't teach physics yet,because out of the corner of my eye I saw,in slow motion(just like the underwater shots of a whale doing a slow roll in front of the cameraman) a kid, at least twice my size,fly in front of me.
Well,he didn't factor in wind speed,earth rotation,or the angle to the dangle right,and he totally missed me...almost.
His toe caught the front of my helmet and turned it sideways.
I was running north,my helmet was facing west,and I was suddenly looking out the little ear hole in my helmet.
A couple of old ladies on the near sideline thought he'd tore my head off and fainted right there on the spot.
Well, all the sudden I was surrounded by approximately ten of my team mates,being protected and encouraged to hold the course. They were knocking the bad guys on their butts and I was running as hard as I could.
I think I was about 10 yards out from the goal when I went into a low speed wobble. You know..you've seen the pro's running and all the sudden their head gets ahead of the rest of their body,and their helmet is the only thing keeping them from kicking their own teeth out. They're doing everything they can to keep from falling over.
Kinda like slow motion karma sutra is the only way I can describe it.
So..Here I am,my toes alternately showing up in the ear hole vision that I have
I don't know who it was that grabbed me,but someone got a-hold of the nape of my neck and slung me the last 5 yards over the goal line. I didn't touch the ground that last 2 seconds.
I hit the ground face first about 2 yards inside the goal line. I hear a whistle..someone yells "TOUCHDOWN" and through all the confusion,being slung,and hitting the ground, I was face down on the ground,my helmet was facing straight up,and I was dog-piled by the rest of my team.
The first play of my first game of football..I'll never forget it,nor will I ever live it dow