May 102013 0 Responses

The Night which Ended My Football Career

When it comes to football, I was created for one position—public address announcer.

I also think I would have been a good back-up quarterback, but I don’t look very good in a baseball cap so announcer was more my style.

Like most kids, my football career peaked in junior high.

In my 9th grade year, I was the public address announcer for the 7th and 8th grade games.

I had a stellar year. I learned the difference between being offside and encroachment. I figured out the best time to eat nachos without missing a play. And the colder it got, the more friends I made as people begged to sit in the heated press box.

It was a good year until the championship game.

My school and our cross-town rival were playing in the final game for the city championship.

Like any good championship game, it came down to the final play.

We had the ball on the 35 yard line in a tied game with :03 left. The only hope was a Hail Mary. (Side note: my favorite play in football is when Notre Dame throws a Hail Mary that doesn’t work. It’s rich with irony)

Our quarterback dropped back, got pushed out of the pocket, rolled toward our sideline, and gave the ball a great heave toward the end zone. Sadly, the ball slipped out of his hand and came floating down at about the 10 yard line where an opposing player happened to catch the ball and began to run up the sideline.

Our coach was irate. As our QB desperately tried to save the game by diving in an attempt to trip the defensive back in his sprint toward the end zone, our coach sprinted down the sideline and threw his hat in disgust at his quarterback who was sprawled out on the ground.

As the opposing player took the ball 90 yards for the game winning anti-Hail Mary, I calmly announced the play as I saw it:

“Coach Hunter’s hat incomplete, intended receiver Bradley.”

And that was my last call as a public address announcer.

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