As I walked off the field, teammates walking by me, I cried to myself, tears streaming down my face, sobs coming in short abrupt bursts. Many different emotions swirling in my head, anger, sadness, confusion, all tearing at my insides. I felt let down and more than anything, betrayed. I took the long shameful walk to the bus and sat down in my seat. I began to reflect on the game, all at the same time asking myself “Why?”
I go back, in my head, to before the game when I had butterflies fluttering all over my stomach. Anticipation bursting from all seams of my body. Very excited because our best player was coming back to play for this game. We finally were walking out onto the field, for our pre game stretches, which meant that the game was right around the corner. The team gathered on the sideline for our pre game ritual of getting excited to play. Then Kickoff! “Get ready! it’s game time!” I said to myself.
“Hike!” shouts our quarterback as the first play is underway. I handle the guy over me with no problem, blocking him way off the ball. “Oh, this is going to be fun!” I thought to myself on the way back to the huddle. Many plays go by, we didn’t score, so we must punt. I fastforward to six seconds left in the first half, Howard is knocking on the door again. The ball is hiked, 5, I get to my pass drop, 4, the quarterback is looking for a reciever, 3, nobody is open, 2, our defensive line breaks through, 1, the quarterback starts to run, 0, our line closes in and gets the sack!
We all run into the locker room so very excited, too excited. Everybody finally files into the locker room, I try to quiet them, but nobody listens. One of our coaches storms into the locker room and yells at us, saying, “What are y’all so excited about?! We’re still losing! You’re acting like you’ve won, you ain’t won *bleep*!” and out the coach goes. The other captains try to give some type of speech to keep everybody focused, it doesn’t work. After what felt like forever our head coach finally comes in to tell us it’s time to go back out. As we walk back out I can feel something is going to happen this half.
The third quarter goes by lightening fast without a hitch. Howard only scored once and we had them fairly matched. Then came the fourth quarter. One play towards the end of the game, the score 14-24, they ran a simple run to the right side of the offense, shut down for a short gain. I turn to walk back to the huddle, all of a sudden I hear whistles and shouts and the refs are running to the other side of the field. I turn and see a fight between our team and Howard. I just turn away, shake my head, and cuss them out. The feeling of betrayal and hopelessness sets in, I begin to want to give up on these kids, emotional, high-strung, helpless kids. All they want to do is think about themselves, and not the greater good of the team. Our efforts to win thwarted. The game ends and after shaking the opponents hands and saying “good game.” I sink to my knees and begin my sobs.