The Slice

Do they play 7th grade football here?

I realize that question demonstrates two things.

1) I am out of the loop on kids' activities.

2) I am too lazy to find out for myself.

I'm sure there's JV football. But 7th grade?

We had it at the junior high I attended in suburban Dayton, Ohio, before my family moved to Michigan in the middle of that school year.

We practiced for weeks but played a grand total of one game. The Red Sox battled the Cardinals in the World Series as the grudge match with our crosstown rival neared.

We were the Central Flyers. Somewhere in my basement I think I still have a blue and yellow sticker that boldly proclaims: "Nothing can stop the Central Flyers!"

Sadly, that proved not to be the case.

The game was played on a Saturday morning at a high school field.

Our tailback, Mark or Mike something, got his arm broken on our first series of downs. I think it might actually have been on the very first play. But I can't say for sure.

Things didn't improve from there. We got steamrolled. They were bigger, faster and better. 

Our quarterback, Chris something, was emotionally overwhelmed. He had tears in his eyes in our huddle. Poor kid.

He literally apologized to me -- I was a plodding but durable fullback -- for having me carry the ball over and over.

I'm pretty sure I told him it was OK.

After all, keeping the ball on the ground kept the clock running.




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