Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stories from my childhood, part three: Sophomore year football

This is from my sophomore year of high school in 2004.

I really liked football in junior high... maybe because I was decently good at it and got to play all the time. Being 5'10" helped, because it made me one of the taller kids out there and a good tight end and cornerback. I couldn't really tackle, but I was tall enough to catch the ball and get some interceptions. Coming into high school, however, everyone else started to catch up with me and 5'10" wasn't so special anymore.

I played JV my freshman year, like the rest of my friends. Sophomore year was when all of us suited up for varsity, but only a few got playing time. The rest of us enjoyed JV games as the "older kids." Playing against diminished competition is my favorite thing to do, because it makes me feel good. I had three interceptions that year in JV and a bunch of tackles, and I loved every minute of it. I have no guilt in feeling this way... the only bad thing about JV was our douchebag coach that I still hate to this day, he was the "obsessed-with-lifting" type of meathead that never liked my attitude from the start. Fuck him.

Even though I didn't really want to, all us sophomores had to suit up for varsity games. It really sucked in the playoffs, because by then it was November and it was starting to get really cold. While our friends were wrapped up in blankets and hot chocolates socializing with cute girls in the stands, my buddy Theis and I sat like retards down on the sidelines. We had those gay ass football pants that only went down to our knees, and we couldn't get a team jacket unless we finagled one from an older kid. The seniors used to grab them from us all the time, so we would either give them up like pussies or try to avoid everyone else and stay warm.

It was during playoffs that I really started to hate football. The coaches always used to yell at us to cheer, well what the fuck? Are we the cheerleaders? I didn't want to stand on that god damn sideline, and the last thing I felt like doing was cheering for some douchebags that I hated anyways. There were always the kids that would suck up to the coaches by cheering super loud, we used to roast them all the time because they got the same PT as everyone else that sucked: 0 unless we were up or down by more than 30 points.

Don't get me wrong, we didn't really deserve to go in... we simply weren't as good as the other kids. But the coaches made it seem like we weren't playing because we weren't lifting weights 24/7... WTF? Did they think the other kids were lifting? None of the skill position starters lifted a weight, ever. They went off straight talent, which was something I didn't have. I simply wasn't as good.

Anyways, we were in our second playoff game that year against Kingsland. We were winning by two scores, and once Kingsland got one in they were setting up for an onside kick. The head coach was looking around frantically trying to find some kids that weren't tired as fuck to go in.

He yelled in our direction, "Hey, I need five receivers who haven't played yet." I raised my hand along with a few others. He picked out four kids, then said, "I need one more." He started to point at me, and I perked my head up and said, "me?" He quickly shook his head and picked his fucking son that was a freshman at the time. Everyone on the god damn team got in the game except for me.

Everyone was cheering in the locker room after the game. I was the only one moping in the corner, and I think several people noticed. I didn't know whether to cry, explode, or stoneface... the bottom line is I felt like shit. I changed out of my gear ASAP, didn't go to the afterparty and drove straight to my only friend at that particular time: Taco Bell.

This was the song I picked to play on my ride over there, and I daydreamed violently about what I wanted to do to my meathead coaches.

You can imagine my frustration.

I ordered some tasty ass mexican food, and sat in my '95 Chevy Lumina pondering life. Did I want to continue wasting my time on a team that didn't need me? There was no need for me to suffer on the sideline if there was a 4% chance of myself getting in the game. Hell, I'd rather play Pep Band than keep this bullshit up. At least my man Mr. G appreciated me.

I decided to give it one more year, which was just as disasterous. I was technically the 2nd string strong safety, but after the starter got hurt I quickly realized how there were at least three people that would play before me. I finally called it quits after that year, and joined soccer my senior year and had the time of my life with a fun team.

I still have a deep passion for football, especially Cotter football and the Green Bay Packers. However, I really despise how I was treated by certain coaches, which is why I picked the story of the Kingsland playoff game for my latest "Tale from my childhood."

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