One one thousand. The stands are filled with men, women, and children waving their hands and homemade signs. The cheers coming from the crowd make it hard for me to hear. I smell the hot dogs, popcorn, and pizza being sold at the concession stand. The marching band has just left the field with the tuba player’s last note still ringing in my ear. In the fourth quarter with us in the lead by five the scoreboard shows six seconds. The coach yells, “It’s time to go”! I strap on my helmet with great enthusiasm and head towards the field to take my position.
Two one thousand, three one thousand. Their quarterback quickly shouts out a play. I think to myself “Are my pads secure?” My thoughts quickly turn back to the game as I look up just in time to see two hundred and fifty pounds of blue and white running toward me at full speed. As the sweat rolls down my face my eyes start to burn. My legs suddenly grow weak with fatigue. My hands start to shake as I start to run towards my opponent. I feel a sudden breeze. I start to gag on my mouthpiece. I look up, but all I can see is a glare from the sun, which begins to blind me.
Four one thousand, five one thousand. My bones start to crack. I suddenly realized that I have been hit, and hit hard. I’m now lying on the ground thinking to myself “What happened?” I taste a thick substance and quickly realize that my lip was bleeding. Now I’m in so much pain, my bones ache as I start to get a headache. I hear a whistle and see my opponent standing over me. His sweat starts to drop down from his face to mine. I’m thinking to myself “What went wrong”? I feel the mud on my hands as I slowly start to come back to the rest of the world. I hear the crowd roar. What is going on? Who has won the game? Is it over? I turn my head a little to the left to see the scoreboard. They’ve won by one, and we’ve lost.
Six one thousand. Crowds heading for the exit. Staring at the field covered with empty cups and trash left behind by careless children, I notice that everyone is starting to leave. Parents congratulating their sons, others are being comforted, siblings laughing. I’m overcome with disappointment. I’ve realized that the reason we’ve lost was because of me. I lay there thinking “Its all my fault, its all my fault”. My adversary had pummeled me to the ground, which left an open gap for the running back. I didn’t even see him coming. He was like a mad cheetah on the verge of killing. He must have slipped right passed me. Depression, frustration, regret. Anticipation for the next game.