Man Down

October 24, 2017
By , Cupertino, CA

Oh no. It didn’t look right nor did feel right. I didn’t think it was right. Correction, I KNEW it wasn’t right. I felt like all the people in the parking lot were looking at me. My mom frantically rushed around thinking what to. I laughed sarcastically with my voice cracking when she exclaimed, “Why does your finger look so fat?” I looked around not knowing what to do. I could hear the echo of what my mom said and knew something was wrong.

    

Now you probably don’t know about what I’m talking about, but I was very concerned. I was getting out of the car dreaming about to go shop for clothing. It was July 4th and my mom took me shopping for new shoes since I had outgrown my old ones. I was impatiently waiting for my mom to come, because I was excited to get the new shoes.  I was thirsty so I grabbed my water and almost got my right index finger out of the door before it was shut by my mom. That’s when and where I started to feel a sharp pain in my right index finger for the rest of the day.
    

“OUCH, OUCH, OUCH”, I screamed. My mom just shut the door my finger. She was saying sorry, I probably could not hear over the sound of my screams. Everyone was running and looking around from where the noise came. I tried holding it back, but it all came out in tears. My mom, other shoppers, and even some employees agreed that it was better if my mom took me to an orthopaedic doctor. My mom told me an orthopaedist was a doctor who worked with hurt body parts. Before that, we made an important stop, at least for me that is.
    

I tried to argue, “The team can’t win without me, who will be their quarterback?” The coach then pointed at the punter saying, “He has a good arm too.” I felt frustrated, angry, and sad all at once. The coach said no, my mom said no, my teammates said no which ended the conversation. I kept murmuring under my breath, “They won’t win, they won’t win, THEY WON'T WIN!” Look, I was part of a junior football league and I was a quarterback. When everyone figured I got a injury, they confirmed I won’t play. Instead they put a punter, the guy who just punts a ball, as the quarterback. How silly is that? We were also in the championship round, and there was no way the punter would lead them to victory. Who has ever heard something like that? It was like the weather was feeling just like I was, gloomy. It started raining soon, and I got into the car, drenched, going home. My mom took me straight to the orthopaedist. He was a tall man, wearing a formal shirt with brown pants, and large shoes. I tried reading his name, but it was way  too complicated. He recommended I go take an x-ray right away. We did some exercises while my mom was booking an appointment. Dr. Stedham concluded that I shouldn't use that arm for eight weeks.
   

 I was about to cry, but I held it back. I went to the x-ray machine the next day and the woman took a look at the finger but said nothing. For a few weeks, I waited, bored, with nothing to do. A week after I took the x-ray, the reports came and this is how the conversation between my mom and me went:

Mom: “You didn’t break your finger!”
Me: Struggling to get the hideous clip of my finger
Mom: “You just fractured it!”
Me: Soaking the book I was reading with tears

    

Few days later we went to the game and I knew my team wasn’t going to win. In the first quarter, my team threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball once. The other team scored only one touchdown despite our silly mistakes. The next quarter we were able to score one field goal, but the other team scored two touchdowns. At the start of the second half, we were down 21- 3. In the third quarter, the only score was a touchdown thrown by our team. I couldn’t believe that the punter was actually doing something for once. In the last quarter, I was sure we were going to lose the game. Everyone was happy except the starting quarterback with a fractured finger. I was just sitting on the bleachers, doing nothing. We had to punt the ball on our first drive, but the other team threw an interception which we returned for a touchdown. I was surprised, but that wasn’t the biggest surprise in store for me.
    

With one minute left, our team were down 21-17. We had the ball once again at our own 25. This was probably our last chance. Coach knew that he had two timeouts left so that he could have enough time for the team to score. A field goal was useless here. They NEEDED the touchdown with no exceptions. On the first play, the quarterback/punter ran the ball for more than 30 yards. I was going nuts after seeing what happened, and I was put back into reality when a whistle, signaling a timeout, was called. After that, the quarterback aired a ball deep and it was caught somewhere near the 20. Another whistle, another timeout. My heart was pounding, but I still hadn’t recognized that I was wrong all along. With 23 seconds left, there was an attempt for the touchdown. The ball was overthrown, and eight seconds were taken of the clock. Another try, another fail. Now, there were only 6 seconds left. It was 3rd and 10, and this was defined the last play of the game and our season. The punter threw it, and it was caught in the end zone! It was a miracle that nobody would have expected. Only then, did I realize my foolishness. I underestimated the strength of the punter and overestimated my strength. I knew that they couldn’t win without me, but here I was. I wasn’t playing, but THEY won… for me. The next season, I was picked to be in the team again, and I never underestimated anybody again.






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