Me and My Mamma... The Football Story #2

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The is a tale about a traumatizing experience I had playing Flag Football.

Submitted: September 15, 2012

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Submitted: September 15, 2012




The Football Story…

It was my grade seven elementary flag football championship game. Are you familiar with Flag Football? No... it's not a bunch of kids running around with country flags on a stick. How the hell can you catch a football while trying to hang on to one of those flags? It's impossible... what's the matter with you?


Flag football is basically a game for wimps (listen I'm not a wimp, I wanted to play tackle football but if we did, then it wouldn't be called flag football now would it?)

So here's how it's played. You get a belt that you wrap around your waist (not a real belt) it looks like a karate belt and on either side (meaning your left hip and your right hip - must I explain everything?, get in the game will ya) there is a long narrow piece of plastic that's suppose to be the flag part. Velcro fastens these pieces to the belt. To tackle someone, you simply pull off one flag of the opposing player and the play stops. Sounds easy no? Well try it while wearing pants that are skin tight and ten sizes smaller then you. By tight I mean your legs are stiff as a board, you can't bend your knees. (Remember the episode of Jerry Seinfeld when Krammer wore those tight jeans and could not walk, well picture that)


I guess you figured out that I experienced this situation. Well believe you me, I did.  It's the morning of the football game. I woke up all excited and couldn't wait to get on the field and run (like I was mad at the grass). My mom is your typical Italian mother. It's her way or the highway. You don't question my mother, you just do as your told.


Anyway my Mom comes into our room (by our I mean my older brother and I slept in the same bed - Hey... times were tuff back then so we had to sleep together, what's wrong with that?) and gets our cloths ready for us to play.

Sounds easy right? Well here's the problem. My brother is ten times skinner than me. The guy could hind behind a broom. Yeah I like Italian food (have you had Italian food? - you gain 40 pounds just looking at it), my brother obviously didn't. When the food was on the table (and I'm talking like ten course meals daily - for Breakfast, lunch, and dinner - you could feed a wedding) I ate - wouldn't you? Well I guess I ate more than my brother.


My mother gets his cloths ready in seconds but when she went to get my cloths ready we had a major crisis. My normal track pants (that fit) were in the washing machine and I had no other pants to wear. So put my track pants in the dryer you say? What dryer?... my mom doesn't believe in dryers (to this day she doesn't have one) - her dryer is the outside line. She has a wire hooked up from the back of her house to a pole stuck in the garden. It's got to be at least 100 yards long. The pole is the size of a telephone pole. Who needs a pole that high? My mom could put the laundry of the whole block on her line. Let's see a dryer do that!

She tells me to wear a pair of my brother's pants. Are you picturing this? My mom hands me a pair of pants that were the size of one of my legs. "Ma, I scream, these pants won't fit" - "Never you mind - put them on!” she says. 


Ok.. I'll put them on. I unbutton the pants thinking they may get bigger but they didn't. I tell my brother he has to help me put on his pants. I put one leg in and then the other (the pants were at my ankles at this point) and I couldn't breathe. How the hell was I going to breathe if I got them all the way up? My brother pulls, I pull - the pants are moving a millimeter at a time. I'm pouring sweat and for some reason, God was with me that morning because I managed to get the pants on. The pants were made of some sort of steel, no stretch to them what's so ever. I took a quick look in the mirror, man did I look Fresh! The pants fit me like the new style women wear, I think their called Capris?. For us guys out there, we call them Floods.


My brother looks at me and says "How are you going to run in those pants?" "Run?... I can't even walk" I tell him. I suck in my stomach ( I gotta tell ya, I was looking pretty good at that point) and start walking stiff legged (like a soldier) out of my room and as I approached the stairs, reality hits me. There is no way I'm going to make it down these stairs alive. So what do I do?... I figure I'm already stiff as a board, why not go down the stairs like a board. I lied down (on my back) and slid down the stairs (you should try it, it's pretty cool, just make sure your pants are Tight... really Tight). We get into the car and drive to the football field.


I get out of the car (with no help) and walk over to where our team was. The coach looks at me and says "Why are you wearing those pants?, they don't fit you and you can hardly walk". I tell him don't worry, I'm fine (meanwhile my face was beat red because I have had no circulation going to my brain)

Just so you know my brother and I played wide receiver. That's the position of the players who run and catch the ball. The ref calls for the teams to come to center field to put on the flags and get ready to kick off. As I'm walking on the field, I notice everyone pointing at me. I felt like Jerry Rice (for you women out their, he's not a guy named Jerry who loved rice).  Jerry Rice is a legend football receiver, but you know very damn well why they were pointing at me.  I go to bend over to pick up my flags and I almost fainted, I couldn't breathe. I managed to pick them up (thinking the worst was over... oh yeah right) and start heading towards the sidelines. The coach tells us (my brother and I) to get on the field to receive the ball.


The other team kicks the ball and guess where the ball is headed?... To my brother (yeah I only wish) it came whistling right at me. I catch the ball (that was easy) and try to run. My brain said "Ok legs run" but my legs said "Ok fat boy (I wasn't fat, it was the pants) let me see you try". I'm running like Frankenstein. I think I took two steps before my flag got pulled off. I get back to the sidelines and the coach says I can't play receiver anymore (because I couldn't run). I begged him to let me play. He knew I was a good player (but those pants sure as hell didn't make me look it) and he tells me I could play center position (that's the person who snaps the ball to the quarterback - no running involved) the next time we get the ball.


I'm watching the game and then a bolt of lighting strikes me in the head, relax it's just a figure of speech (although if I ever wanted a bold of lighting to hit me, that was a good time for it to happen). In other words I just thought of something. If I couldn't breathe trying to bend over to pick up my flags, how's it possible to bend over (many times) to snap a football between my legs?. I walked over to my mother and asked her for her rosary beads (you know it's a religious necklace with beads on them and you start with the top bead and say a prayer for each bead). I said a few prayers... "God, please help me make it through this game" (didn't have time to do the whole necklace) and went back to the sidelines. Sure enough our turn to go on the field came up. I walked to where the football was on the field thinking "Do I just bend over or try to bend my knees?" I decided to do both. What happened next was reason to have the fire department there. Our team lines up on either side of me and I go to bend over and all you hear is KA-BOOM!! My pants didn't rip - THEY EXPLODED! It echoed a roar clear across the field and neighbors were coming out of their houses trying to figure out what the noise was. It ripped the seam from the front of my pants all the way threw my legs and up my back. If it weren’t for the waistband holding my pants together, they would have blown right off my legs.


Now here's the funny thing (if you haven't found any of this funny so far). I get up and my pants felt great. I thought I lost weight. I was ready to tell my coach I could play wide receiver again. I take my first step and suddenly I felt a breeze up my leg. I look down and I see my skin and a strip of material over my leg. Where's my pants? I was hoping that nobody saw what happened. I look around and everybody (our team, there team, coaches, parents, refs, water boys, spectators, neighbors, people waking by...) were on the ground roaring like coyotes, laughing there heads off. The field was covered with water (not because of rain but from the water pouring out of everyone's eye balls).


I try to cover myself up and walk to the sidelines. My mother comes over and gives me shit because my pants were too tight. I tell my mother "One of these days...One of these days - Pow, right in the kisser".  How stupid do you think I am? I'd be walking (with no pants) and a limp if I said something like that.  Instead I gave my mother a great big kiss (sorry, I just had a memory lapse) I don't think I did that.


So all in all, I had a good game. Who won? Believe it or not I can't remember. Hey! can you blame me? I was traumatized over that day. I needed counseling, I went to see a psychiatrist, and I was heavily medicated. I was known from then on at school as the Kid whose pants exploded. Try living with that for the rest of your life.

The Funny Guy

P.S. Maybe I'll ask my brother and find out who won.


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