Posted by: lylescott89 | September 19, 2012

My Football & Halloween Party Nightmare

Hey kids,

Last week I received a letter from a loyal reader.  Now while I do not always take requests, I am more than happy to oblige when I have a story that is somewhat interesting.  Here is the letter from loyal reader Peyton Manning:

“You have a great blog.  I particularly enjoy the stories of your complete athletic ineptitude.  They always make me and my family laugh hysterically.  If you have any other stories that involve your athletic incompetence I would love to read them.  Thanks.”

Well how could I resist a letter like that?  I know I have shared my failures at both softball and skiing, but that’s really all I have to share.  However, I did play a game of football once that ended horribly so I figure today is as good as any to share with you that failure.  Now, this is not a great story as compared to the others, but it has the addition of me having a bad day turn into a bad night so it’s still somewhat interesting.

It was a perfect autumn day.  It was overcast and windy with a bit of a chill in the air.  In fact, it was a rather blustery day.  I was a freshman in college and it was one of the few weekends that my roommate was actually gone for the weekend so I had the room all to myself.  If I remember correctly it was Halloween weekend.  I had slept in a bit before getting to breakfast just prior to when Saga stopped serving.  Saga was never crowded on Saturday mornings so I had the place all to myself.  It was perfect.  I had some work to do for class so I made sure I got it done as soon as I could (after breakfast of course) for two major reasons:

1. I wanted to spend the afternoon watching College Football
2. I had a kinda sorta almost a date that night

The first one is easy to understand because we all know that I love football.  The second needs some explaining.  For the past week our dorm had been participating in a gift exchange with one of the girl’s dorms across campus.  All week long I had received cookies, candy and soda from a girl that I did not know.  She also sent me notes giving clues about her and the idea was for me to figure out who she was.  It took me a few days, but I figured it out.  The fear of every guy, including myself, was getting an unattractive girl.     My fears were alleviated once I determined who my secret Halloween girl was.  Her name was Heather and while I had never actually seen her in person, I did see her photo in the freshman student guide and she was a beautiful blond with green eyes.  I had asked around found out that she was as good in person as she was in print.  I was ecstatic and was really looking forward to the evening.

But, before we get to that we have to tell the football story.  I was sitting in my room watching football when there was a knock on the door.  It was Mike, the RA on my floor.  He said that they were one man short for a game of football and asked if I wanted to help them out and play.  Because I was never really good at knowing my own limitations I said yes.  I threw on a sweatshirt and we headed outside.  It was a short walk to the empty field where they played.  Mike gave me the basic rules:

• Tackle football.  None of that wimpy touch football stuff
• All scores are worth seven points
• Kickoff via a punt
• Three second count before rushing the QB

I told Mike I was not that good at sports and he said that they just needed a body.  If I could block on offense and rush the QB on defense I’d be fine.  But then after a few plays things changed.   Mike decided that he would use my height as an advantage.  (It’s important to remember that I was six feet tall and weighed, at best, about 150 lbs. at the time)  He told me to run down the sidelines and he would throw the ball high.  The guys on defense would never be able to reach as high as I could and we could score easily.  The first pass he threw to me was high, but I was able to catch it just like he said.  A little guy wrapped himself around one of my ankles and I dragged him into the end zone.  I had just scored and it felt awesome.  Mike said we would try that again, but every time I went out for a pass I was suddenly surrounded by two or three guys and Mike threw the ball elsewhere.  Still, I was having fun and gaining confidence the longer we played.  Then I got a little too overconfident.

Each time the other team would kick off I would be in the front and would block for whoever would catch the kickoff.  Well with the score tied at 21 something happened.  For reasons I do not recall I stood behind everyone else on that kickoff.  The ball was kicked right to me.  I heard Mike yell for me to catch it and run like hell.  To my utter surprise I did catch it.  And also to my utter surprise my team opened up a huge hole for me to run through.  I had an almost clear shot all the way to the end zone.  All I had to do was to get past Glen.   Before I tell you what happened next I should tell you that Glen, while shorter than me, was about 75 lbs. heavier.  And that weight was not fat, but was rather muscle.  Glen lived two rooms down from me in the dorm.  Actually that doesn’t matter, but now you know.

Anyway, I saw Glen running towards me and I tried to cut to the right to avoid him.  Glen then made the same cut and wrapped his arms around me.  I know he did not mean to do it, but instead of just knocking me down Glen picked me up and slammed me to the ground.  Somehow I managed to not fumble the ball, but I was not able to stay conscious.  I was out.  (Mike later told me that I was out for a good minute or two.  Glen thought he killed me)

Slowly I regained consciousness and the first thing I heard was Mike yelling “he’s waking up.  Give him some air!”  Everything was blurry.  I could see two Mikes standing over me.  Fortunately for me Mike (both of him) was pre-med and said he needed to check me for a concussion.  As I continued to wake up I realized I was dizzy and had a horrid headache.  The game was over and I could not get myself off the ground.  Mike and Glen helped me up and carried me on their shoulders back to the dorm.  They sat me down in a chair in the lobby in front of the TV.  Nebraska was playing and beating the crap out of someone.  I think it was Kansas State, but I can’t know for sure.

Mike returned with a flashlight to check my eyes.  He said I looked okay, but he would stay with me until I was ready to get up.  I don’t know how long I sat there, but I do know that I was covered in dirt and mud.  My white sweatshirt was black and my shoes were soaked in mud.  I could only imagine how badly I looked.  Every few minutes Glen would stop by and apologize to me.  Mike told me later that Glen felt horrible for what he had done.  Glen actually felt so bad that he went to Saga and picked up dinner for me.  I have no recollection of eating anything.

Eventually it was getting dark outside and I was less than an hour away from my pseudo date with the lovely Heather.  Still dizzy I was able to make my way back to my room and then somehow managed to get myself into the shower.  My head was still pounding, but I had one thing on my mind and that was Heather.  I was not going to miss that party.  As lousy as I was feeling and as lousy a day as I had just had I knew that it would all be worth it once I got to spend the evening with Heather.  It was all I could think of.

After I got cleaned up I got myself dressed and walked back to the lobby where all the guys were waiting to go en masse to the girl’s dorm for the party.  All the chairs were full in the lobby except for one that happened to be covered in mud.  I deduced that I had been sitting there.  Glen came over to me and offered to assist me in the walk across campus.  I said I’d be fine, but I guess the guilt that Glen felt was more powerful than my statement that I’d be fine because he stuck very close to me.  And it was a good thing too as I was literally like a zombie except that I was not eating any human flesh.  I was not even sure where we were going for a while.

We arrived and then we were all given name tags because they are required by law.  Once we entered the lobby of the dorm I had seen that the ladies had decorated it spectacularly.  It was obviously a Halloween theme and it was a little scary and a little fun.  Thriller was playing on the stereo.  They even had a bubbling cauldron which I thought was really cool.  All the guys went around finding their girls they had been set up with.  Everyone was having a great time.  Except one.

As I wandered to room I kept looking for Heather.  I checked all the name tags and every face and I could not find her.  And, all during this time, I was holding a small box in my hands with a gift for her.  (This was part of the game and all the guys had a gift for their girl)  I figured she was still in her room getting herself ready for me and I took a seat.  So I sat there.  And I sat there and sat there and sat there.  No Heather.  Finally, a girl named Robin came up to me and said “you must be Lyle”.  (The fact that I was wearing a name tag gave that away)  I said yes and she introduced herself to me as Heather’s roommate.  Robin then handed me a note from Heather.  The words in that note are etched in my memory forever.  (I wish they’d go away)  The note read as follows…

“Lyle, I am so sorry that I could not make the party tonight.  I was so looking forward to meeting you.  I had to go home unexpectedly this weekend for a family emergency.  I hope you enjoyed the cookies.  When I get back I will call you and take you out for a Coke date.  Hugs – Heather”

I thanked Robin for the note and asked if she would give my gift to Heather.  She took the gift and said she would.  Then I left.  I did not want to be in the group picture standing there by myself and frankly there was no point in staying.  It was dark and really cold outside and I was in pure misery as I walked home.  My day was full of pain and suffering and now so was my evening.  I felt like crap.  I got back to the dorm and sat in the lobby and spent the evening watching MTV with a guy who I knew only as Animal.  This was not what I had planned.

But, I still had hope.  I had the note and I had the anticipation of the Coke date.  (I assumed she meant Coca-Cola as opposed to cocaine)  I figured she would call me as soon as she got back.  She did not call me on Monday, but I was still okay.  Tuesday came and went.  So did Wednesday and Thursday and eventually Friday.  It had been a whole week and she had not called me for the Coke date.  So on Saturday I decided to call her.  Robin answered and said Heather was at the library, but she would leave a message.  I waited all day for the return call.  I waited all day Sunday as well.  No call.  No Coke date.  I called again on Monday.  Robin answered and I asked for Heather.  I heard giggling in the background suddenly turn to silence and was told she was not there.  I knew right then I would never get my free Coke.

This will surprise no one, but Heather never called me.  In fact I never met her in person.  I did see her once on campus, but she just walked past without saying a thing and I did the same.  A few months later I transferred to a different school and I never saw her again.  I don’t know where Heather is now, but I hope she is fat and divorced with three or four rotten children.  If she were living in a trailer in Iowa that would be nice too.  (No, I am not holding too much of a grudge) If you know Heather, please let her know I am still waiting for my free Coke.



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