What It’s Like To Burn A Defender For A Touchdown

I’ve been sidelined with a broken finger for what’s approaching two months, so I’ve been missing playing football a lot.  I had to answer a What It’s Like question recently and I’m afraid my answer will not be used and I don’t want it to go to waste, so I’m posting it here.

What It’s Like To Burn A Defender For A Touchdown

Jehremy & David

At the line, you eye your defender off the line to see how they are playing you, if they are out of position, if they’re playing press coverage or if they are giving you cushion, if their feet are aligned improperly, whatever you can learn to give you an advantage. Next, you survey the rest of the defense: is the safety playing close or deep; to your side or the far side?

At the snap of the ball, you explode off the line, running straight at your defender. You look toward the middle of the field in order to trick him into thinking you’re running an inside route. Just before you think he’ll turn his hips to run with you, you make a sharp cut toward the sidelines, with your hands positioned as if ready to catch the ball.

Your quarterback pump-fakes to you, then you cut sharply up field and turn to look for the ball. As you do so, the defender says the two most beautiful words in football, “Oh shit.”

You see the ball arching through the air, high and long, and it’s taking forever to get to you. In full stride, you catch up to it, eyes tracking the ball over your right shoulder, arms stretching out before you. As the ball arrives, you position your hands beneath it, spread eagle, pinkie touching pinkie, and the ball settles into the palms of your hands as your fingers grip the leather to ensure the catch.

You bring the ball to your body, the far point against your elbow, your right index finger on the opposite tip. The ball secured, you focus on the end zone. You hear the footsteps of your defender behind you and he’s getting closer so you cut toward the middle of the field to break his angle. It works. He’s given up. And you’re home free for the final five yards as you cross the end zone.

You turn in the end zone, hand the ball to the referee, catch the eye of your quarterback and point to him in appreciation for the perfect throw.

The History Of Prohibition

I was catching up on some podcasts and just finished listening to a Fresh Air program from May that I thought was fascinating. Terry Gross interviews author Daniel Okrent about his book Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. It’s a great interview, so I wanted to share.

Between the years of 1920, when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was passed, and 1933, when the 21st Amendment repealed the restriction, it was illegal to sell, transport or manufacture “intoxicating” beverages for consumption in the United States.

But Prohibition didn’t stop drinking; it simply pushed the consumption of booze underground. By 1925, there were thousands of speakeasy clubs operating out of New York City, and bootlegging operations sprang up around the country to supply thirsty citizens with alcoholic drinks.

Fresh Air: Prohibition Life: Politics, Loopholes And Bathtub Gin [MP3]

Jared Allen’s Gettin’ Antsy Over Brett Favre

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen visits the Vikings camp and talks with Brad Childress and an antsy Jared Allen, who told him:

“I do hope Brett comes back, but in fairness to the team and in fairness to Tarvaris — hey, we’re done with camp now — let’s move things forward. Tarvaris has an opportunity to take this team over … I think you have to have confidence in the quarterback. I think the quarterback has to be the leader of the team, especially the offense and, again, I think stability at the position is key as hell…All I’m saying — and I have a pretty good relationship with Brett — I think this is the last year we want do the flip-flop thing.” Found at ESPN.

The Benefits Of Aging (or I Hope I Die Before I Get Old)

Mom In Hospital 04

My mother turned 80 this year and, as octogenarians often do, she’s been having some health issues recently. Life has been sucking for her more than it’s been awesome recently. I always suspected that getting old sucked but the last few years helping my mother deal with various issues has confirmed that suspicion.

As I think about it, that insight was about the only bit of wisdom I actually had as a young man. I had a discussion with mom not long ago about just this subject.

“Mom,” I said, “it looks like getting old really does suck.”

She didn’t agree but neither did she disagree.

“There are some benefits,” she offered.

“Like what?”

“Wisdom,” she said. “You get wisdom.”

“Yeah, but you need wisdom at the beginning of your life, not the end.”

“That’s true…but you can impart your wisdom to people younger than you.”

“But young people don’t listen to it…they don’t understand. So it’s a waste.”

We both fell silent in agreement.

What amusing irony! It takes you a lifetime to accumulate the very thing that would make living your life that much easier and enjoyable.

I’ll leave you with The Who. Found at YouTube from polydorclassics.