Brothers of The Game

October 11, 2010
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It was a normal day at football practice, coaches yelling, players laughing, trainers fixing water, but today seemed a bit different. Almost silence from the usually, rowdy quarterbacks. The running backs those who were always very quiet and attentive, were loud almost as if they are telling gossip stories to one another. The wide receivers were mad, not at each other, but at the coaches. Myself, being the kicker, never got any attention, so I could usually do what ever I wanted, anytime.
During our first team meeting, without the coaches, I figured it out! Riley, our star quarterback, and Blake, our 1st string tight end, got into a huge argument after lunch that almost ended up in a fight. Blake, being almost as tall as the 6’5” frame of Riley, out weighed him by about 20 pounds, and not a bit of it was fat. The disagreement was about football of course, since it was two days before the biggest game of their season. Blake meant no harm in telling Riley that, even though he was a very good quarterback, on a few certain plays, he was open more than other receivers. Riley obviously took offence to this, believing that Blake was criticizing his skill, and started to raise his voice. Riley was pretty wiry, but still very intimidating, so all of the surrounding classmates, and fellow players backed up, awaiting the throwing of punches. A few offensive linemen got involved, and broke up the yelling, but the grudge was definitely not over yet, and the intensity spilled over, as the offensive portion of the practice began.

The running game was first, so nothing between the two was expected, except a little bit of jawing about blocking, which Riley knew nothing about. As I watched from the sidelines, as usual, I heard a lot of renditions of the story, I had heard that Blake threw a punch, and I heard the opposite, I heard that nothing happened at all, and it was all a hoax. I was not sure what to believe.
As Coach Price yelled from his perch high above the field, “five minutes until passing begins”, everybody got louder and louder, and a bit more jawing between the two started to grow. IT WAS TIME! The play was called, and the ball was snapped, this one wasn’t to Blake, but he knew it was coming. He hustled all around, just to get the attention of the coach, because he know that if he was noticed, Coach Price would call a play, that the tight end would get the ball. Blake was happy, the ran up to the line, and ran his route to perfection, but by the time Blake turned towards Riley, the ball had sailed over his head, he would have to been on stilts to catch that pass. By tradition, the receiver always picks up dropped passes, or over throws, but Blake refused. Riley, being lazy as usual, would not get the ball either, so he yelled at Blake saying “get the ball you scrub, if you can’t jump to get that ball, you might as well just quit this team.”

“I ain’t your b****, you can do it yourself. This ain’t no circus, the 25 foot tall guys only come around these parts once a year.” replied Blake, yelling a bit louder than Riley. After Riley heard this, he continued by taking his helmet off and motioning for Blake to come over. Of course, Blake didn’t hesitate in doing the same, as he bounced around, waiting for Riley to throw a punch. He did, Blake took it right off the ear, and acted as if it didn’t even phase him, he swung back, catching Riley in the chin, and forced im to back up, and rub his chin. But this was only the beginning. Riley was bluffing, he sprung forward, wailing away with three good body shots to Blake’s stomach and ribs. Blake thought quickly, and knew he could not get away with the same, because Riley, being a quarterback, wore a rib protector made of hard plastic. So he decided to go high again, for the head, pinpointing the nose. It only took one punch, and Riley’s face was red with blood, and others stepped in. Nobody was mad, because these kind of things happened all the time, and nobody got in trouble, besides the two having to do extra conditioning after practice was over.

The two got an unexpected call over the intercom the next day, asking the two of them to Principle Logan’s office. When the two arrived, Mr. Logan walked them into his office, and closed the door, and the fight was clearly visible on both of their faces. When Mr. Logan sat down, he turned around in his chair and said, “Highland Park is going to be a tough opponent, but I am sure you young men have the power to beat them any day.” He then opened his desk drawer and grabbed two pieces of candy, tossing them to the boys.

The Titans ended up beating Omaha North 47-7, and Riley and Blake combined for 167-passing/receiving yard on the night.

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