Day 46: Being the Runningback

Wrote some crap; deleted some crap. Sometimes you have to know when to fold ’em.

I love watching football, but I freely admit to knowing next to nothing about the game. I know the basic plot: four downs, gotta go ten yards, and score more points than the other guy. I know the typical penalties, though I can almost never spot them–even with Tivo. I know about what most of the player do–though in the sandlot, blocker, hiker, kicker, catcher, thrower sort of way. I know two plays: quarterback sneak and the Hail Mary. Everything else is borderline mysterious to me.

The thing is, I don’t want to know that stuff. It plays out fine on television. I enjoy the gamble each side takes: we bet we can make it ten yards; well, we bet you can’t. In ten second increments you find out who wins each contest of rock-paper-scissors. Not only do I not want to know, I like not knowing. Not knowing makes it easier for me to be surprised even when there are mismatched opponents.

What I want to know is what the game feels like to play. Does a veteran lineman just feel like he is going to work most of the time until the game is on the line? Does a quarterback really make decisions or is he guessing as much as I am? Is a reception more often a well thrown ball or a well caught ball? And do the two guys know it? Do the players feel the flow of the game the way the announcers make it seem? Is that drama more or less than what we can feel?

Lineman expect to get knocked down. Beat up. Smash mouthed. But I would like to know what it’s like to be running full speed with the end zone in sight and then, without transition, be on the ground eating turf. Then do it again.

It must feel like be fired from your job every other week.

Word count: 350