Up, Over and Onward

Growing up, I played a lot of football - most of it in my mind. There were real games, of course, many with memorable injury stories, but none so great as those held in the stadium of my adolescent imagination.

One day, for some reason, I decided to share a highlight from one of these imaginary games with someone else.

I was in my driveway, losing a game of one-on-one basketball to an adult friend of mine. I asked my opponent, a sporting guy by the name of Don, something that had been weighing on my mind.

"Don?" I panted, following the ball with my eyes as he dribbled in preparation for his drive to the basket.

"Yeah?" he replied, charging me with a sweaty shoulder and sinking an easy lay-up. Fouls were rarely called on my court.

I took the ball "out," circling around to the grassy area by the front walkway, waited to check it in, and continued. "Have you ever seen... a running back... running... and like, take a hit at full speed, but then somehow jump up at exactly the point of impact, so the tackler hits him in the legs and he actually flips all the way over and continues running down the field?"

Don froze immediately and stared into my eyes. "I have dreamed of that," he said with the utmost solemnity, "for as long as I can remember."

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