My athletic apex occurred in 5th grade at Rockbrook Elementary School.   I was great at flag football, and our class pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Rockbrook Field Day history.  (That’s another story for another day.)  After that, I was too frail and slow to compete in much more than the Wits Clash (Trivia Bowl) and spelling contests.

However, tonight I remembered a moment of athletic glory that actually occurred after puberty. Please pull up a chair and read on.

During my 3rd year of law school at Creighton University, our flag football team played a team of fellow graduate students from the University’s dental school. The flag football league was (mostly) non-contact; therefore, pulling a flag attached to a player resulted in a “tackle”, and blocking was “screening”, which is common in basketball. Material physical contact normally resulted in a penalty flag for unnecessary roughness.

During the opening kickoff of this particular game, I attempted to screen an opponent who was obviously amped up for the big game, and he ran straight through me, sending me head-over-heels into the artificial turf. After the play ended, I cleared a few cobwebs from my head, and the guy stood over me with a look of relative nonchalance about his aggression. I asked, “What are you doing?” He responded, “It’s game-time, man!! It’s game-time!!”

During the second half, this same guy took a pitch on a sweep and skirted around our defense. When he turned up the sideline, two teammates (David Boylston and Todd Klapatauskas) and I arrived at top speed from our defensive positions–with absolutely no intention of pulling this guy’s flag.  We pile-drove him halfway up a chain-link fence along the sideline, and as he slid down the fence, he gasped, “What are you doing?”

I responded, “It’s game-time” and walked back to the huddle.

We won that game and the all-university championship that year.

If you are that dental student reading this, I’d like to formally apologize.  I’m don’t consider myself that aggressive.

Except during the Wits Clash …


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