Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yes we wore helmets then.

Whenever I watch football players scrambling for a fumbled football I remember my high school days.

The coach instructed us that under then current rules we could capture an opponents fumble but could not advance it down the field.

The drill was to grab the ball, tuck it in our tummy as we lie on the ground, and pull our knees into a fetal position.

As an attacking defensive lineman I rushed past the offensive blocker. While I looked for the runner he brushed by me. As he did so, the ball went squirting out behind him.

As coached, I raced after the ball and flung my self unto the ball face down clutching it in the prescribed manner.

Meanwhile the runner for some idiotic reason kept running without the ball surrounded by the rest of his team, the rest of my team, and the team of officials.

He ran about twenty yards before he was tackled. It would have been quite an advance had he had possession of the ball.

The officials summoned the yard markers down the field and suddenly became aware that the ball had disappeared.

It seemed an eternity as I lay in that cramped position before a stadium full of laughing fans until I felt a tap on my back from an official inquiring as to whether I had the ball.