Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Could've Been a Contender

I love long weekends. Man wasn't meant to work five days in a row.

Friday night was tame. I watched some DVR'd TV and played some Wii, then went to bed early. Fascinating, I know, but you asked for it.

I dream a lot about playing football, and I don't mean that in some abstract "oh wouldn't it be lovely if I got a call from the Bears" kind of way. I mean I actually have dreams while I'm sleeping about playing football. You see, I have a lot of unresolved issues about my high school football career, and the way my subconscious deals with this is through dreams. Friday night, I dreamed I was back on the old gridiron with my high school teammates, only we were playing indoors in what turned out to be a really huge diner.

Senior year, I was always a bit incensed that I wasn't a kick returner, mainly because my career kickoff return stats are as follows: 1 KR, 80.0 yard average, 1 TD. I was a sophomore B-team hero. Anywho, in the dream, I asked one of the two kick returners (a starting running back) if I could sub in for him on just one kick return, since apparently he was making personnel decisions. I explained, "I'm faster than you" (which was true, and may still be). After some hesitation, he let me sub in for him.

The other team, which appeared to be a bunch of teenage hipsters, kicked off and, I'll be damned, it was coming my direction. Unfortunately, it hit off the diner's ceiling and took a funny bounce, pinning me next to the sideline. I picked it up at the 1-yard line. What happened next is the stuff of legends are dreamt of. I juked a couple defenders, quickly realizing that my blockers were way up-field, apparently blocking air. I then started running towards the other sideline, hoping I would have a chance to turn the corner. As I started to turn the corner, I threw some dirty hipster to the ground, not unlike what Marshawn Lynch did to Tracy Porter. Then I hit my high gear. Back in the day, I had a second gear that kind of came out of nowhere. I turned it on and flew past some other defenders and made a few well-time cutbacks on my way to the endzone. The diner was going crazy.

And then it all came crumbling down. A flag was down way back at our own 40. Holding. Are you kidding me? As if taunting me, the diner's PA system -- no doubt run by a Greek -- began playing The Allman Brothers Band's version of "Done Somebody Wrong."

Nonetheless, I walked over to the guy who let me sub for him -- who was now lying comfortably on the floor under a blanket -- and said, "I told you I was faster than you." Everybody had a good laugh. Then everyone went to sleep. I can't explain that. But I did wake up Saturday morning with "Done Somebody Wrong" in my head.

This dream made me realize something, other than the fact that I should have been returning kicks: God, I miss sprinting. I need to find an extra hour somewhere in the week to play a sport -- preferably high school football -- that allows for sprinting.

Saturday was pretty lowkey. During the day, we left the house for a total of about an hour to go to Target and steal a box of Fruit Roll-Ups. I like to show Daughter that the best things in life are actually free. That night, Jester and I left Daughter in the crib and hit a show at Second City that, it turns out, I co-wrote. No shit. It was pretty good -- well, at least one sketch was pretty good. After the show, we did not go to Old Town Ale House because . . .

Sunday, I went to the Bears/Seahawks game. Before I left, Daughter stole my Bears hat. Little does she know, that hat is about 25 times older than she is. I stole it back and taught her several swear words.
This time, my tickets were real, which was a pleasant change. Obviously, the game was awesome. I had never been to a playoff game before, so it was nice of the Bears not to disappoint me. Here is the view from my seats.
And now, for the first time since 1941, the Bears and the Packers -- or should I say the Green Gay Fudge Packers (I read it on a shirt) -- will be playing each other in the playoffs, for the NFC championship no less. Today I tried to get tickets when a limited number when on sale to the public, but apparently other Bears fans want me to cry at work.

In previous years, long weekends meant that, on Sunday nights, I would have been at Hillbilly Sunday (when it was still around) -- blitzed out of my mind, throwing burritos at dogs on the walk home. Now, I just get blitzed at home and throw a dog at burritos.

Monday morning, we went up to the home of Alex and his anonymous wife so that our babies could interact. We're getting very close to the point where we can realistically hope for baby fights. Thankfully, Daughter knows her way around a samurai sword. The rest of the day involved a lot of couch sitting, Wii playing, and TV watching, while Daughter worked on her technique. She can now slice an apple in half in mid air. Meanwhile, I am potentially the greatest coach in NCAA football history. The 2013 Hoosiers are rolling -- 5-0, with all wins coming against ranked teams, and ranked #1 in both polls. This was certainly unexpected after losing the starting running back (Maxwell and Walker Award winner), most of the offensive line (including the Rimington Award winner), starting corners (including the Thorpe Award winner), and kicker (Groza Award winner) from the 2012 BCS championship team. Then again, I did return both Graco and Vogelpohl on the interior defensive line. After all, they are the top two sack leaders in NCAA history. Plus, Lupo was a nice surprise at running back. A redshirt junior who never saw the field in his first two years, he is now leading the Heisman contender. I just hope his success isn't because of the juice. Oh, and in case you didn't know, I live in a fantasy lanf, where "land" is spelled "lanf."

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