Friday, September 9, 2011

Flashback Friday # 153

Smashmouth Football

Greetings one & all. Welcome back to the meanderings of my mind, where many times we stray from the beaten path.

One of the things that I really disliked about school was Phys Ed class (more about that later). Since it was Autumn, what do you play in gym class? Football, of course. Since the classes were co-ed, this was one time where the guys were separated from the girls, that way they wouldn't get hurt.

Out in the field beside the school, the guys went to one end, while the girls went to the other. Teams were chosen and we were to commence playing flag football. How does one consider that smashmouth football, you may ask? I will explain that soon enough.

Another reason that the girls weren't playing along side the guys was that the guys were playing shirts vs skins. I hated shirts vs skins. The colored flags didn't differentiate the teams enough (what was strange is that it was differential enough for the girls).I was fortunate that the other team had more "fat boys" on it, therefore it had to be skins.

Our class was big enough that each team had 10 guys on it. Each side could very nearly field an entire offense or defensive unit. On offense, I was a running back, on defense, a linebacker. During kickoffs I was a kamikaze forward to block or tackle as needed.

During one of the kickoffs, our kicker boomed a huge kick. It was a beauty. A thing to behold. It isn't a good idea to watch a kick sailing through the air while running down the field as fast as you can. In the moment that I took my eyes off the field to follow the flight of the ball, disaster struck. One of the guys on the other team also took a gander at the beautiful kick, and stopped to see who would field it. The very moment that he stopped is the very moment the I looked up at the kick.

WHAM! I ran into his back at full speed. I didn't even see him when I hit him. All I saw were stars. The collision sent both of us sprawling. Other than being shaken up from having a tank steamroll into him, he was OK. I, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky. My mouth was smashed into the back of his head (see I told you that I would explain the title). My lips were pulverized and blood flowed fast & furious.

Since my parents worked in Westerville & weren't able to come to my aid, we had arranged with a neighbor, who just happened to be a nurse, to be my emergency pick-up if had to leave school due to sickness or injury. When she got there, the school nurse had stopped most of the blood flow with cold compresses. She took a look at what used to be my lips and determined that stitches wouldn't be necessary, but it would be a good idea if I went home & took it easy the rest of the day. I would find out later that it wouldn't be the only time that I got hurt in High School gym class.

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