Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bustin' Pops's Chops

A bunch of guys have been playing a weekly Saturday morning touch football game for 20 or so years. I've been playing off and on with them for the last couple of years.

I was running a simple Z route, going for the first down. A Z route for you nonfootball people is when you run diagonally towards the center of the field, then cut back to the outside. The pattern when drawn on paper looks like the top two-thirds of the letter Z.

I was being covered by a guy name Cord. He was in remarkable physical condition. For a 70 year old. That's right, he just turned 70 last week. But, at 6'2" and 180, he was fit and trim for his age. He kind of looks like Lyndon Johnson.

He bit on the inside move, and I got a step breaking back to the outside. The pass came too slow. Cord made up the lost ground and hit me in the mouth at the same time the pass hit my hands. I held on, but I'd bitten out a chunk of flesh inside my lower lip.

I spit out a few mouthfuls of blood and saliva, and the pain subsided. During the next drive, I was running a flag route to the back right corner of the end zone. Cord was on me again, and I had outrun him. Another weak pass. I don't remember exactly what happened next. From what I can piece together, the old man clubbed me in the head knocking me down. A few more cuts, this time on my left leg.

So old man, I thought to myself, this is how its going to be. On the next play, he lined up to jam me at the line. I took a few steps back. When the ball was hiked, I ran right at him and threw -- ok, swung -- a forearm in his old boney chest, and cut outside. He kind of staggered and lost me. I caught the pass and ran it down the sideline for a big gain.

When his team got on offense, I stepped it up. The old man ran a button hook. Basically, he ran 8 yards up and turn back around to the quarterback, waiting on the pass. Just as the pass got there, I "tagged" him. Actually, it was more of a full on shove. He went flying face first into the ground.

"He shoved me," he groused in a whiny, old man tone.

"Sorry, dude," I said walking away.

A few plays later, he ran a corner route in the end zone. The ball was high, and Cord went up for it. I shoved him at the same time the ball got there. Since he was up in the air, the force of my shove sent his legs flying to the side. He came down awkwardly, and fell on his side.

"He --"

"Sorry, man. Didn't expect you to jump up like that."

"I think I'll sit the next few plays out," he said limping off the field.

He came back into the game. I shoved him onto the ground again on a crossing route. It was perhaps an even more gratuitous shove than the other ones, because it happened a few seconds before the ball actually got there. I probably should have helped him up.

Too bad our team lost, though. My lip is fine now.


Blogger Natalia said...


Sorry, I was going to say something clever and profound, but I totally lost it. Do make sure that such cuts down get infected though; having gone through a tricky wisdom tooth removal recently, I'd have to say that all this crap is unpleasant enough without your face blowing up like a chipmunk (which happened to my boyfriend last winter break). Cheerio.

5:52 PM  

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