Guest Post #3: Anyone need a quarterback?
As many of my friends and family know, I am a football nut and could not live without it. Well, this past year, I took my obsession to a whole new level. I thought that I could try out for a pro football team and be quarterback. For someone with my experience to go and try something like that is comparable to trying to outrun a car, or even to try to out-eat Kobayashi.

I figured I should get you up-to-date on my current football accomplishments, just so you have a better idea of how crazy this was.

It all started in eighth grade. I wanted to be the quarterback but they had another kid so they thought I would work well at punter. Not the most glamorous position on the field, but I was happy just to play. When they said punter, they thought I knew I would be the fourth-string punter. There were two teams (A and B) and there were two punters on each team. I was the backup for the crap team. Didn’t bode well for my ego but I sucked it up and played when called upon (I think I actually punted twice all season). I did get to live my dream though when our quarterback (the B team quarterback, not the good one) thought it would be a good idea to break his arm, and so they thought they could count on the back-up. He ended up getting scared that he would break his arm too and opted out. That opened the door for me when they asked if anyone else wanted to play quarterback. I raised my hand and my coach said, “Can you even throw the ball?” and at that moment I knew this was my shot and never looked back.

The reason I never looked back is because I never played football after that glorious season. That is right folks, it all ended where it began, in eighth grade. That is, until just last year when I saw a sign that I was destined to be a pro quarterback.

I got the bright idea to try out from a flashing banner ad icon on a hometown sports webpage and thought if this is what they have to resort to, then I think I can do this. When I arrived at the tryout, I guess I was wrong. I was by far the smallest guy there. It made me second-guess my decision but I thought I would go through with it. Why not?

What we did first was comparable to what I do in an entire workout at the gym, and they called it “warm-ups.” I knew I was finished at the point where we had to sprint for 20 yards and about halfway through, I could not feel my legs and tripped over my own feet. It was sort of like farting at the dinner table when the table is full of people you really don’t know that well. Not good. After that we had to run a 40-yard dash, and that went about as well as 5.5 seconds could. (To gauge how fast that is in football terms, a 300-pound NFL lineman who is 6’5” could run it that fast.) Also not good.

At this point I thought all my bad mojo was behind me and that I would be able to have a better showing if I put my mind to it. And I did. I was one of the top finishers in water breaks taken and time spent bent over the trash can. To justify my football existence, and to pump up my ego just a little bit, I’ll admit that I WAS third-best in the standing broad jump AND able to make some good passes during the quarterback portion of the tryout.

I was told by the semi-pro team’s coach that I might be able to play. (Guess they were pretty desperate.) However, what I learned in eighth grade is that you cut your losses early. So I retired. I am still a weekend warrior, but I always think about what could have happened if that one magical season would have worked out.

Anyone else have a story about how your dreams were crushed when you realized that you aren’t quite as good at something as you thought? Let me know. I’d like to feel better about my non-existent pro football career.


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