The crisp autumn air was surrounding the stadium lights of my high school and my parents were in their customary seats on the 50-yard line. This was a rite of passage for my father, who insisted he had been handed down those tickets from his father, who of course, got them from his father.
When I reminded him that this wasn’t Notre Dame or Wrigley Field and that you can literally sit anywhere you want for a $5 entry fee, he would scoff and explain that I didn’t understand tradition in sports. I would then help him to his seat because he was about 11 deep at this point and would have wound up on the opposing sides bench, thus ruining his own “tradition.”
The team we were playing for the county championship that night, was undefeated and had handled us easily all season. If memory serves, our coach quit one game and literally walked over to their sideline and yelled: “This will make it even easier for them to know what we are running!”
Looking up at the scoreboard, we were down 46-0 and positive the refs held the ball longer on the spot than our offense did the entire game. Now, why would a game of little consequence to life and an obvious beat down be etched into my memory?
Well, that was the night my heart was ripped from my chest and thrown downfield and caught by Mr. Quarterback.
I had just gotten a popcorn, a hot chocolate, and two Twizzlers. One was for my girlfriend and then the other one was to “tap” my buddy in his…well…area. Anyway, I walked up to the love of my young life with a bounce in my step and a smile from ear to ear. I was in love. She smelled like those lotion shops in the mall and her hair was long and flowing, her skin soft, and a smile more radiant than the sunrise.
Turns out she had a heart made entirely of steel.
She had gotten her free snacks and as if part of a script, she turned her head away for a second and then quickly back to me.
“This isn’t working. We need to break up. I’ll pay you back for the Twizzlers.” She said.
“Ok. What is happening right now?” I asked.
“We are done. I’m going to go out with Brian,” She callously responded. “He is a better fit for me.”
Turns out he was a better fit for her because he was the quarterback and I was on the Junior Varsity golf team with no chance of getting past that point in my career. She wanted the star and she wanted the glory that comes from dating a quarterback. I tried futilely to convince her that this was a mistake and that while it might look like the better option now, in time she will see that quarterbacks are only cool for a few years but golfers are cool for life.
She laughed, handed me $3 for the Twizzlers and I never saw her again. Her life took her to the University of Florida where she was a cheerleader, Brian was the quarterback, and I’m pretty sure he got in early on Facebook IPO and is now worth $43 million dollars.
I play golf three times a week, have a dog that hates me, and last weekend I won a closest to the pin and collected $18 in shop credit which I used to buy Twizzlers.
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