This weekend my son's flag football game was against the jerky team from a few weeks, ago, described here. They seemed to have toned down a little at first, but as the game wore on the poor sportsmanship of the kids began to resurface, at times seemingly encouraged by the coaches. Again, this is Kindergarten football. It's not life or death. Nobody should be keeping score. It's just herding cats for an hour.
It came to a head when the lone girl on our team (and the league) Abby took off on a long run. She's started out great this season but had been getting a little less aggressive each game, but she took the handoff and bounced outside. her flag got pulled on the one yard line, so we all signaled touchdown and she was excited.
One of the other coaches insisted it wasn't a score and put the ball on the one yard line. He was adamant and we were incredulous. With a sigh we lined the kids up and as I pointed to a kid we have who is a bit of a chore to deal with, I saw the coaches jamming five kids in a five yard area, right where we were running. The play was stopped, and I saw them lining up to stuff it again, saying how important is was to stop them and win the game. Remember, these are KINDERGARTENERS. Ridiculous. And irritating. I looked at the kids I had lined up for the play and had an idea.
My quarterback for the play, Brandon, handed off to Matthew on a dive right intot he teeth of their defense. All six kids on that side descended on him like jackals on a lame antelope, and two held aloft his belt in triumph. But . . . Matthew didn't have the ball, as as the kids and their jerkweed coaches watched in stunned amazement Brandon, who had faked the handoff and kept the ball hidden on his hip, tossed the ball to a wide-open Michael in the end zone. Touchdown.
Yes, I taught a pack of five-year-olds the concept of the play-action pass. Later in the game I had another kid roll out and pass for another touchdown to a wide open receiver as six defenders chased him fruitlessly, and made sure someone who hadn't scored yet caught the pass (I wasn't going all Buttermaker there*). The rottenest little brat of their bunch turned and whined at his dad the coach, "Why don't you teach us any cool stuff like that?"
*If you don't get the Buttermaker reference you need to go watch the original Bad News Bears movie (Walter Mattheau, not Billy Bob Thornton) and pay attention to the championship game.
Writing: Saturday 613 words. Protagonist Pity Party! Woooo!