I spent what felt like a stupid amount of time practicing in the hot sun during my freshman year in high school. I had already spent two other years playing football for the junior high team. To be honest with you, my first two years were marred by hospitalization and behavioral problems. I had believed that I had a small chance of turning the tide and and salvaging my football experience.
Our junior varsity team had done well win/loss record wise. It seemed that we had a grasp on our plays and conditioning. I did not see much playing time, (the anxiety ridden teenage Matt seldom could muster the “juice” to bother the coach for more playing time). I was more of a caricature at times, being known for body slamming people on special teams. Our season ended well, then our entire team was invited to suit up for the rest of the varsity’s season.
It was killer. Drills and running was unreal. Most of us were huffing and puffing. The coach wasn’t happy and I don’t blame. Varsity had tanked all but one of their games. Their team had numerous injuries, which coach called “f*cking cripples”. I had thought well of most of them, but naturally they sucked.
I ended up playing more in those two games than my entire JV season. Three of our top players put in some decent stats. I had some “okay” plays. But the eighty unanswered points put on us didn’t help make things “feel” salvageable.
Our high school football team carried on for several years in the bottom of the standings. I had hung it up after that season. After a frank discussion with the coach, specifically how I saw myself on the team as a teammate, I know I wasn’t what the team needed. I had knew that I couldn’t keep them from sucking.
The experience helped me to look at every redneck that proclaims their podunk school’s team to be the best. Their school’s team sucked, just like mine did. They didn’t make it any better and neither did I.