Sal Paradise

Sal Paradise
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2001-10-15 02:23:13 (UTC)

The other way

It was the summer before my eighth grade year and my
parents wanted me to do something productive with my
summer. I really have no idea why considering the fact
that I failed every class my eighth grade year, except for
band, which I got an "A" in.
"Join football, son!" said my dad. "pft! Like I ever
do anything...." I said to him. I suppose that made him
angry because that same day, that same summer, he went to
the Baldwin Park community football team and signed me up
for flag football. If there is one sport that I could ban
off the face of the planet, football would be it. For one,
it is barbaric, sexist, and filthy. Secondly, I hate
sweating. I couldn't possibly stand other young bodies
hitting me with their sweat. Their perspiration splashing
all over me like a humid summer shower while you sleep.
Almost sounds like hot gay sex. ALMOST. But I wouldn't
know about that.
I was on a team known as "The Chiefs." And I
completely hated it. I hated the coach, Coach Ed, I hated
the guys on the team, and I hated the fact my cousin, Jose,
was on the same team. It was my frist day on the team and
I didn't know anyone but Jose. So, I didn't talk to anyone
and Jose pretended as though he didn't know me, so that was
out of the question.
Weeks went by, and we'd train about four, if not 5 or
six hours a day. Finally, the day we were all waiting for
and the day some of us feared; our first game. With our
plastic molds in our mouths, our black shorts on, our
burgundy shirts on, and our flags on our sides, we were
ready to play our first game. To no one's surprise, we
lost. And every game after that we just hoped that we
wouldn't be totally creamed--which indeed we were.
It was the second to the last game of my football
experience and we had lost every game priot to that. This
time, we were so anxious to lose. We were so certain
we would. We were playing the Giants, who had won every
game!
It was the middle of the game with the Giants and the score was
14 to 14. They had the ball and our defense line was called out to
the field. I was part of defense. During the whole summer I learned
to hate the team even more and it became a feeling beyond hatred when
it came to actual games. I was standing right in front of this
mustcular sweaty guy who would do anything to win for his team. As
opposed to me; who would do anything to make the team I was on lose.
When the word, "HIKE!" was screamed out, everyone would scatter
around the field and battle it off for their own team. Everyone
except the fat kid with goggles to protect his contact lenses from
being poked out of his eyes--that was me. So, while running around
that field pretending I knew what I was doing, I looked over my
shoulder and saw the football coming right towards me. I grabbed it
and put it under my shirt and I ran like hell. I ran the opposite
way, though. I ran for the Giants' touch down spot--and I was
successful. That day, I was so proud of myself. For the first time
in my life I ruined a foe's evening. However, we won. The only team
we won was the best team and that day I ran to score for them. I was
so angry.
The best memory that summer was when the team was at the flag
football awards and the Chiefs got plaques and every other team got a
trophy.

I hated that summer.


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