Category Archives: Sports
Continuing on flaunting my ChickBro status this week, with a dash of celebrating Women’s History Month, I’m gonna share one of my favorite sports memories.
Picture this… Mannheim. Germany. 1992. Freshman year of high school, Mannheim American High School Homecoming Week.
It’s Powder Puff time.
I had been chomping at my bit for this since Freshman Initiation. The MAHS Seniors put up a grand advance, but we 8th graders going on to 9th grade returned with an offense that would’ve made General Douglas MacArthur proud! And amongst shrapnel of shaving foam and egg shells, I distinctly recall a CERTAIN Senior doing the two-eyes-pointing-at-her-then-at-me thing as she and the other defeated cleared the battlefield.
It’s Powder Puff time. Freshmen vs. Seniors. And she and I are both on the field.
Coach serving as referee circled us freshman to one side, seniors to the other. “This is flag football, ladies. No touching, no tackling.”
Eyes shot lasers across the demarcated center field line. Clearly none of us heard that.
Coach drags his hand across his chest. “No hitting the letters on your chests.” Clever way to say, ‘no tit punches’, Coach. Snarls exchanged across the line. Clearly none of us heard that.
“Seniors, take it easy on the smaller women.” Coach had a right to declare that. Most of the Senior class of 1992 were Pacific Islanders. I’m not saying they’re big. I’m saying. They are BIIIIG WOMEN. I was rocking a buck fiddy myself those days, so I can comment thusly.
“Alright, let’s have some fun out there!” We clap in unison to break, and take to field position.
I, having just tried out for cheerleading (making base of course) and tried out for volleyball, of which the Islanders ruled, I was ready to show them these thick thighs in motion. I squatted down to join the freshmen offense, ready to guard my QB, and I watch as Ol’ Revenger, at the last minute, switch places with the senior in front of me. She gives me that nod, that ‘payback’s a bitch’ nod.
Play is called, I lurch up and forward from my squat with my arms crossed, elbows out. She’s meeting me with the same ram. And, SMASH! The girl runs right over me.
Flat on my back.
That. Was. AMAZING!
The play continues without me. Seniors are cheering, so I guess it was an incomplete. I pop back up, get ready for the next play action. The seniors are talkin’ mad shit, but I’m just smiling. I ache, but it’s a good ache. We set along the line of scrimmage. “You ain’t scared?” she half mocks/half compliments across from me. She was one of the volleyball tryout judges. She scored me for JV, ideally to be my team captain.
Play is called. I’m having the time of my life. Lots of whisteblowing from coach, because we didn’t catch the part where we couldn’t knock, punch, pinch, smack, squeeze to get to the flag. We’re soldiers’ kids, whaddya expect?
My father got his PCS orders, so we ended up moving to America after freshman year. But man, did I enjoy playing football! Title IX, while in effect, must’ve not hit Texas yet, so I couldn’t try out for high school football, but I TOTALLY would have, and I totally would’ve stuck with lineman.
I’m happy that school girls participate in and excel at high school football, and many female professional athletes are condoning high school athletics as a form of empowerment. While I missed out on continuing my love for playing football, I will continue to support young women in all sports.
Borrowing my friend Waiting For Satan‘s blogging style, I pose to you the question: what should BA have done to work the situation to his favor?
The boy blithely swung the black, shoulder stocked, scoped weapon along his right side, right index finger wrapped around the trigger.
I planted my hands on my hips and focused on his movement along the lake.
The boy rose the muzzle of his air gun towards a murder of crows heading eastbound.
I furrowed my brow.
The boy discharged a pellet towards the animals, lowered the air gun back to his side, and, smiling, continued his walk along the lake.
I descended my stairs and restrained the want to tackle him.
“Tell me you have a reason to be back here with an air gun.”
His lackadaisical stroll slowed as he realized I was talking to him. Gun is still to his side, finger is still wrapped around the trigger. His to-and-fro swing can send a pellet any direction, including my way.
“You’re out here shooting birds?” I ask, because it’s illegal. His ability to walk around the lake with an outfitted air gun is also, technically, illegal. But this is Florida, these details tend to be oversights.
I’m standing 20 yards from him. His finger is still on the trigger.
“I’m doing target practice. I set up a target over there.” He points with his left hand to the grouping of pine and palms along the back fence. I scan the trees. There’s no targets of any kind. But I do know there’s bald eagles, red tipped hawks, and vultures in that vicinity. This is my backyard, after all. I know all the wildlife back here, sentient and nescient. This nescient bastard of bastards was brand new to me.
His finger is still on the trigger. He’s brought the gun to his hip. I’m standing 10 yards from him. I’m fighting the urge to whip him with his own weapon.
I don’t follow him but my eyes do. He continues crossing the yard, looking back at me watching him, his smile twisting more wryly the further he gets from me. He shoots me an annoyed look. My glare doesn’t break, but I remind him, “Try not to hit the endangered species.” I want him to. He’d HAVE to go to jail once he does.
It looks as if he’s heading towards the walking path, away from the trees, away from the lake. I turn to ascend my stairs.
“Don’t worry, I won’t hit the endangered species!” he snarked. I ball my fist around the staircase railing. That little shit! Let it go, Von, let it go.
Recently a Florida man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for firing his weapon into a car of teenagers. He killed one, but the jury was hung on the decision to charge him with first degree murder. This man was compelled to fire his weapon because the volume emanating from the vehicle he shot into was too loud. He felt inconvenienced and decided the smart solution was to add volume to volume. You ever fire a weapon in close range? There isn’t a loud enough rap song to overcome that sound.
But for him, it was logical. Cogent. Righteous.
My concern about this little brat crossing my yard to shoot at birds is that he didn’t see a problem with carrying the weapon as he did, finger on the trigger, swinging it to his side, ready to fire. My problem isn’t with the gun. It was his lack of accountability for possessing it. His disaffected demeanor in holding the gun was his pronouncement of dominion; in the case of the crows flying over, he was contented to shoot at them for the mere capacity for it. Not a care in the world.
A school-aged kid walking around the lake at 10am on a Friday afternoon. I don’t get into the whole parents argument because I am not one. But I will say this; this Florida asshole running around with a weapon at his disposal will be an adult soon. He will become an asshole law enforcer, or even better, an asshole law-maker. I can’t make him my problem now, but he will be all our problems later.
Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be
Because I love you, I’m gonna save you some dignity. Trust me, you’ll understand after you read.
Back in the yearin Oh Seven, I had me a curio bout the Nordie folk tale of a rabbey en him magick hole. (Shouts to David Mitchell, yo) This was the beginning of Spring semester 2007. A fellow cohort in my Science Technology and Society graduate minor program, Jenn, a lifelong Pennsylvanian, said she and her brother may be planning to go up to Punxsutawney for Groundhog Day. I said, hey, if that happens, count me in. Doubt I’ll ever be up in these parts again, sounds like a thing to do.
Early, I’m talkin’ errrrrrrrly that 2nd of February, we leave from State College after a very necessary stop at Sheetz for brekky and coffee up on 322W towards the town of that very spirited tradition, the witnessing of a ground rodent’s shadow to predict if the winter continues longer. I knew of it from the Bill Murray classic, Groundhog Day, and I remember our February school room calendars decorated with Punxsutawney Phil along with hearts and cupids and head shots of presidents.
I figured a place with ‘Punx’ in its name would be, by default, cool. It ain’t. Alright, first, the early morning call is because the crowd gets thick around 5am. If you want a good view of the ceremony, you have to be in town, up the hill (there’s a hill), in position, and you cannot leave that position lest risk losing view. There’s no stadium seating around the hole, go figure. It’s an hour and a half drive from State College, so I figure we’re relatively okay.
We smartly filled up at Large Grocery Store Complex with snacks and sandwich goods in a cooler to keep with us as we hold position. Sure, there’s tents set up for hot cocoa and street food and artisanal wares, but again, risk losing optimum rodent viewing. Interesting was the moment Jenn mentioned, ‘you have to look out for my brother. He’s a little strange.’ Like, grab girls’ butts as they pass him in the crowd strange, or has a sniper rifle in his long coat and plans to take Punxsutawney Phil out strange? Before I could ask for clarification, she hits me with, ‘oh, and… No alcohol allowed on the hill.’
It’s Six Degrees Fahrenheit at 5am. Whiskey needs to be in my life, as a survival tool. She coulda mentioned this before we left, so I could’ve had my flask at the ready. But they check bags and monitor the crowd for such things. As they say up in dem parts, criminey!!
So alright, early ass morning, no alcohol, trapped like sardines til The Big Show. Just when the sun starts making its way up, signaling time for Phil to do his thing, Jenn’s brother is nowhere around us. She casually says, ‘He escaped.’ Escaped? That’s the verb we’re using? Someone escaping in a large crowd on purpose can only mean terror/disaster/hysteria. At that moment, not my problem, cuz here comes a bunch of old, White men wearing top hats, waistcoats, coattails, spats, I mean, they’re into this. And the fact they’re only wearing that and no furs or thermals means they’re dedicated to the game. Super Bowl XLVIII ticket holders have nothing on the Committee, or whatever they’re called.
The crowd clusters, I crane and crook into a clean view of the tree stump Phil’s gonna do the observation from. Then with much applause, a HUGE dirt rodent is hoisted in the air by the Committee Head. Then he’s placed on the stump. And then…
…every member of the committee enters into a huddle OVER Punxsy Phil! Blocking out the sun with their bodies! Really??
To which one steps back and proclaims whatever Phil saw, which I couldn’t hear, because I was screaming out, ‘DIS IS BUUUUUUSHHHEEEEIIIITTTT!’ If it wasn’t for the fact there was a pancake breakfast on the Main Street immediately after, I may have snatched Jenn by her pretty brown curls and shook her body with them.
Miraculously her brother showed up, with no explanation as to where he went. I housed about six to eight pancakes, a low number, because I wasn’t thawed out completely. The Main Street was lined with tents, activity centers, booths, street shows, all that you would expect for a holiday celebration. The local movie house played all day, you guessed it, Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day. You can tell the local chamber and officials put a lot of effort into providing entertainment for all us shmucks who just got conned by Marmota Monax and his well-dressed henchmen.
Jenn made up for the lackluster show by taking us to a winery she knew about off of 322W on the way back home. Years of cell damage limit me from remembering the location, the owner’s name, or the name of the fantastic blush I had, but it sure did make up for the farce that is Punxsutawney Phil’s Big Day.