There’s a terrifying scream. And then there’s a football in lane 6. That means he’ll be here soon.
I’m running on the track, and today there’s a great show on the “Please Stay Off the Grass” field. Two guys — a quarterback and a wide receiver — are working out. They’re good. The receiver is fast with sticky hands and sharp routes. The quarterback has a rocket arm. It’s around 100 degrees. They don’t seem to notice. The quarterback does the hut hut thing. The receiver takes off. Inside, outside, over and over. As the quarterback releases the ball, he screams. If it’s accurate, if it sails away, if it falls short, always a scream. If I were a defensive lineman I would avoid him.
They connect almost every time, the sign of guys who have been performing this two-man play for an awful lot of matinees. It’s fun to watch as I shuffle along. It’s a good day, easy 5 miles. I’m doing the Squirrel a lot more today, a hopeful sign that things will come around. Jan. 1 is a long way away. I have time.
As do they. The routine continues for almost an hour and a half with no break. Throw, scream, catch. Throw, scream, catch. The most impressive thing? When the quarterback throws a bad pass, forcing a retrieval of the ball, he does it himself. He takes off on a full run down the field, grabs it and comes back while the receiver bends over and catches his breath. Is it because he wants the extra running? Is it penance for mistakes? An incentive to minimize mistakes? Beats me. All I know is to avoid lane 6 when he comes barreling across to grab the ball.
I don’t know who he is. He has big-boy cleats, a strong arm and lots of balls. Aspiring pro? Former college guy who couldn’t give it up? Total mirage? So many questions.
The one thing I would NEVER have thought to question: Is he transgender? I guess it’s a possibility. But who the hell cares? He has a great spiral, an unquestionable work ethic, and has to be an excellent team player. He does his job beyond reproach. I could not care less about his sexual identity. I would absolutely want him to be on my team.
You’d have to be an idiot not to.
I think I understand the quarterback now, though.
Sometimes you just have to scream.