Roy E. Lovelace

Now it is generally known by most folks who know me, that I ain't too keen on the subject of sports. Even so, most of the people I know are sports fans of one kind or another. And nearly all of them will try to convince me to become a fan. I mean even my own young'uns get in on the act.

Now there was a football game between two Junior high Schools and my young'uns went to one of the schools. Well, they had a lot of school pride you know, like root for the team and get daddy to go and take the whole family and pay for everythang. Well, a feller can't just tell his young'uns to go get lost, you know. So after a few days of naggin' and beggin' and stuff like that, I finally gave in and said OK, and we went to the football game.

I paid a dollar and twenty-five cents for each one of us to set there on a concrete bench and freeze to death. I'm here to tell you there ain't no bargain in that, I mean I can think of a dozen ways to die from torture and ain't none of'em gonna cost a dollar and twenty-five cents a head. But I always try to do what I say I'll do, so I lead my little group to a spot that I thought was a good'n. It was right about the middle of the stadium, about four rows up from the field. My oldest told me that we were on the wrong side of the stadium and that we needed to be on the other side so we could cheer for our team. I ask her why we couldn't cheer for'em from here and she said this side was for the other team's fans, I said, oh, then we went on over to the other side.

Well, after awhile the band started playin' and everybody stood up. Now that was a mistake. Them benches got icy cold again while we were standin' and when I sat back down, I wanted to stand up again till it was all over and we could leave. But the folks behind us didn't want me to, so I set there and like to have died for a while. Well anyway, besides the National Anthem the band played a song about some ducks, you probably know the one, the words go something like this. “Oh be kind to your web footed friends then ducks nay be somebody's momma. Be kind to the damsel of the swamp she's a dilly through and through. Well you may think this is the end, well it isn't cause there is another chorus.” And this goes on and on for so long, `til finally the football players come runnin' out and stood around lookin' like they didn't know who had the football or if anybody remembered to bring it.

Then a whistle blew and all the players went over to the north end of the field and bunched up. I thought they were just tryin' to get warm but I found out later they was in a huddle so they could talk about how to play the game, I reckon. I figured maybe some of'em couldn't remember the rules or something. Anyhow the whistle blew again and they got into two lines facin' each other. Then somebody hollered “hike” and they all fell down on top of each other and the whistle blew again.

That was when I seen who was blowin' the whistle. It was a feller in a striped shirt or maybe a pajama top, from where we was settin' it was hard to tell which. But that didn't matter `cause you could see right off that he was some kind of a boss. I mean he would blow that whistle and point and all the players would take off runnin' to where he pointed. Once he was pointin' straight up with both hands and some of the players were runnin' and jumpin' as high as they could. But then he changed his mind and pointed to a place on the ground and they all went over to it.

They got into two lines again facin' each other. And somebody yelled “hike” and sure nuff they all fell down all over each other again. The whistle blew again and they got up and run to the south end of the field. Now the whole mess started again with the whistle blowin' and pointin' and runnin' and hollerin' hike and fallin' down.

They had a scoreboard on the south end of the field too. The numbers come on in lights on both sides of the board and right in the middle they had a big clock. I thank it was tore up `cause it just had one hand and it only run every once in awhile, but they used it just the same as if it was workin' fine.

About the time that I was almost froze to death, the whole bunch over on the other side of the stadium went to yellin' and carryin' on. I asked a man settin' behind me what all the fuss was about and he said the other side's team got a touchdown. I ask what is that and he said if they carried the ball over that last line into the place where it was painted sorta catty cornered, that was a touchdown, and I said, oh.

That was when I made up my mind that this feller was purty smart and if I didn't understand something I would ask him, `cause he would come right out with the answer just like he invented the game. So I asked him who made the touchdown and he said number six. I looked up at the scoreboard and it had a big six under Home. Then the whistle blew again and the players ran off the field and the band came out and played that song about the ducks again.

By now I was startin' to get numb and when I looked at my wife, the poor little gal was turnin' blue. I said well, looks like it's over, let's go home, and the man behind me said this is just the half time show. I said we've already seen it so I guess we'll go on home. He said but you've only seen half of the game, and I said, oh. Then my wife said we've stayed this long we might as well stay till the end.

Well, after the band quit playin' the players came out and stood around some more. Then the whistle blew and I watched some more huddlin' and linin' up and fallin' down and then some people on the other side of the field went wild again cause one of their boys kicked a touchdown. He was wearin' a big three on his shirt and sure nuff the score changed from six to nine. I told the man behind me that now I knew what them numbers meant. This boy didn't have as big a handicap as the other player, `cause number six got six points for his touchdown and number three just got three points for his, so now if number eighty-six on our side's team got a touchdown we would win. And he just grinned like he was proud I was catchin' on so fast.

Copyright © 1998-2001, Roy Lovelace. All Rights Reserved.