That was my production for the two games we played on Saturday with the pick-up football guys.
We had five on five or six on six–I can’t remember–but the field we laid out was a bit too narrow for the number of people who showed up, so the first game was all about defense. There were a lot of interceptions because there wasn’t as much room for receivers to get open.
As a result, the game lasted forever. Since we had an odd number of guys, I played all time defense for the first game. That was fine with me. I figured I’d save my energy that way and thus have more in the tank for the second game, when everyone else would be tired. It was all right with me, that is, until I realized just how long the game would last. During one of our numerous water breaks about halfway through the game, by way of commenting on the length of the game, I said it didn’t look like I was going to play on offense today. Delicious was nice enough to notice and offered to switch with me so I could play some offense, which I did.
During the first game I didn’t do much at all except tweak my shoulder. Two weeks ago, I broke up a pass and my hand was gabbed and pulled by the receiver I was defending and it sure felt like my shoulder dislocated and then immediately popped back in; either that, or it was hyper-extended. I am, it must be pointed out, notoriously inaccurate in diagnosing my own sports injuries. Whatever the case, it hurt like hell. The shoulder felt a lot better on Saturday but early in the game I knocked away a hard-thrown ball and tweaked it real bad–damn it hurt.
So that’s what my performance amounted to during the first game.
The Second Game
I fared much better during the second game but halfway through it, I started feeling dizzy. It was clear I needed something to eat. During a water break I scoured my bag for an energy bar I knew was in there with no small amount of trepidation because I bought the bar probably two years ago. But it was either eat it, or stop playing, and that wasn’t an option. So I ate it.
My fears were quickly confirmed, as I started to get sick shortly thereafter. Not throwing up or anything, but definitely feeling really crappy. That and my throbbing shoulder. Ugh.
But despite all that, I was much more productive during the second game. I did drop three passes that I should have caught. And it’s driving me nuts because I’ve been doing too much of that lately. Especially as I’m getting older, I can’t afford to drop the passes I should make if I want to keep up with the younger guys. One was a low pass on a crossing route that wasn’t all that easy, but I should have caught none-the-less. Another was a high and outside pass at the sideline that was a little awkward but I got two hands on it, so I should have pulled it in. The third drop was a pass that needed to be low to keep it away from defenders. I was doing a crossing route just over the end zone and my QB got the ball to me about shin-high. I got both hands on it but simply dropped the ball. It’s never an excuse, but I wasn’t expecting the ball. It would have been a score.
Two Touchdowns & An Interception
Halfway through the game, I was pretty exhausted and was not running as fast as I probably should have been running. But on one play, I made up my mind to make a move on my defender and score on a long bomb. Lucky for me, my defender hasn’t been playing as regularly as I have, so he might have been a bit tired. Anyway, I ran a seam route heading toward the middle of the field and once I got him turned inside, I broke slightly outside to create some separation. My quarterback saw the play lofted a perfect strike that I brought in just over my defender’s outstretched arms and with just enough room to get two feet in in the back of the end zone.
My interception came on the following drive. The other team drove relentlessly and efficiently down the field with a well-run set of short plays. They were five yards away from a score and I was playing in the middle. I had a feeling their quarterback was going to try toss one over my head to one of his tall receivers and he did but he didn’t get the ball up quite high enough and I went up and got it.
The following drive, we marched down the field and got to about the ten when I did a crossing route in the back of the end zone and camped out in the middle of the field. My QB fired a bullet between two defenders that I caught (but not before bobbling) for the game winning TD.
Funny, I didn’t feel sick anymore.