Friday, February 4, 2011

The Blindside

*If you comment on this piece, please be honest. If you didn’t like it, just say so. You don’t have to try and find the one redeeming factor in this piece to make a comment. Tell me it sucks and I should hang myself, it’s the greatest story every, or anything in-between. Just be honest if you comment.

The freshly cut grass had already stained Jarrod’s new, white cleats before the huddle even broke. The bigger — not bigger because of muscle mass, but at this stage in their careers, just the fat kids — waddled up to the line. Alex casually walked up to the center with an air of confidence — no, confidence was not quite it. It was cockyness. Alex was the cockiest kid on the team, and for a reason. He was taller, stronger, faster, and as far as the game was concerned; he was smarter.

Across the line of scrimmage, the Freshman Boys ‘B’ Team of Dwight D. Eisenhower High School stood ready. The looked looked mean and hungry, glaring at Jarrod with hateful eyes. Their faces were obscured just enough by the thick, black facemasks that they looked almost inhuman — like the orcs from Lord of the Rings.

Jarrod’s left leg began shaking as he stood behind Alex.

Be strong. Jarrod thought. I have one job to do, and I need to do it. I need to be brave.

Alex looked back towards Jarrod and shouted, “Omaha 6! Omaha 6!”

Jarrod nodded as he watched the tight end — another one of those fat kids, but not fat enough for the line — shift across the formation to the left side. He dug his cleats into the ground, getting ready to spring into action. Alex ducked back under the center and started calling out the snap. “Hut, hut…Hut!”

Exploding out of his stance, Jarrod ran off to his left, looking for Alex to come running along side him. But when he looked up, Alex had dropped back into the pocket to pass.

Jarrod stopped.

One of the linebackers had run around the line and was headed straight for Alex. Powerless to help, Jarrod watched as Alex was crushed from his blindside; the crown of the other boy’s helmet smashed right into Alex’s earhole, making a snapping sound that echoed across the small football stadium.

Alex plummeted to the ground, but not before he dropped the ball. The linebacker picked it up, running it in for a touchdown.

Jarrod walked over to see if Alex was alright — hits like that made Jarrod squeamish about this game — but at least he was moving. His eyes were open when he got there, staring at Jarrod. Omaha 6. I’m suppose to protect the blindside.


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