Fall is fast approaching(thank goodness) and like clockwork football will soon be the primary focus for avid sports fans. I use to be one of those avid NFL watchers but between the money, interjection of politics and thuggery of what has become the National Felony League, I just don’t have the interest any longer. Growing up, I participated in sports of all types, and played my share of football. Most of the time we played ‘touch football’ up at 68 schoolyard. It was a simple game where you had four downs and you needed to get three completions in order to keep the ball. Pretty basic and was a hard game to defend against as long as you had someone with a workable arm, all you needed was for a receiver to step across the line when the ball was hiked and a little toss and you had a completion. Most of the games were played civilly with just little squabbles but I do remember one game that became more like a game of tackle.
One day John Brooks, Bob Mathers and myself somehow hooked up with the brothers Meikle and decided to play a game of touch football. It started off like a normal game but one of us got hit with a bit more force then required and it escalated from there. I remember shoving the brother Larry into the fence quite forcefully and things just continued from there until it finished with John and the brother Butchie getting into a wrestling match on the asphalt. That was the exception however, as most games ended without the roughness and fighting.
There was another version that we played over at Holy Cross Churchyard and this was a game of ‘tackle’ like most leagues play. The thing I remember is that Albert Ey, the retarded guy mentioned in another post would oftentimes play as well. Albert tried but didn’t quite understand the rules as once you tackled him, he would jump up and start running again which usually had the rest of us on the opposite team jumping on him. We also tried to steer Albert over near the Holly bushes where we would strive to knock him into the bushes. After a time or two of this, Albert would tend to get upset and would respond in an understandably angry manner. It usually took his next door neighbor Stewart to calm him down as none of us wanted to have a tussle with an angry Albert and his huge right arm.
Later on, we got into playing some of the ‘brothers’ from on the other side of Frederick Avenue as we would meet down at the Mill on Frederick Avenue. It was sort of understood that the game wasn’t going to played fairly as the game quickly evolved into a late hit and piling on sort of game. I don’t believe most of us really cared about the score or who won, it was just about playing as dirty as the next side. I don’t remember any fights but there was definitely some animosity between the Crackers and the Bro’s.
Sports was definitely a major part of my younger years, and I enjoyed playing as much as I could. I just don’t have the interest any longer to sit in front of the T.V. watching a bunch of petulant men-childs playing a kid’s game, making millions and acting as if they are the most oppressed people that have ever existed. We should all be so oppressed.
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