Chalk It Up

Time to chalk it up, or down, or sideways (there’s always gotta be one right?) however you chalk things on an imaginary board, this first season of High School Football back with Spectrum Sports and the semblance of returned normalcy is in the books and board “chalked”.

It was a good season and so nice to be back on these fall sidelines with some ball and a crew well worth spending a Friday night with, and after 10 weeks it almost felt like we were dating, again, just minus any residual anger for not returning calls or texts for about two years after our last pizza dinner football date nights and life went awry (and I thought she really liked me) and we eventually dated only ourselves in seclusion. At least we could truly say, honey, there wasn’t anyone else.

CBA, Collective Bargaining Agreement (a little uninspiring but pretty forward thinking moniker I must say – I kid Christian Brothers … I kid ) capped things off with a kick in the Shen to Shen, tripping them up with some pretty QB twinkle toe pylons at the end and a game long kid named Boz double armed power runs impersonating John Riggins in his #44 to land themselves in the faraway State finals tourney which are as faraway as faraway could be if we’re not going to pull a couple of trucks up and land a crew.

Scott: (at the final pieces of a broadcast loaded) Hey, Frankenberry? You taking the pizza?

Me: Yep, I got it (for my freezy thing above a coldy thing that holds only beer, old mayonnaise and a jar of pickles).

It’s comforting that they think of me in this save the pizza for Frankenberry kinda way and supports my why it’s a good crew and was a welcome return. They obviously care. This plus LAST week’s “Hey, Frankenberry? You taking the pizza?” and I now have 46 slices of pizza in my freezer for future lunches or dinners or possible charity functions. Selfless I am that way.

I re-discovered in this return season some of the things that have kept me coming back all these years, following the welcome Greg phone call wondering if I would be interested again, like the prepper backseat of BB, being loaded up with extra Pirate hats and sweatshirts and sweatpants, a couple of jackets, a cooler, a to go bag with socks, T-shirts, a wad of unmarked bills and clean underwear (gotcha Ma) and anything else that I might need when the weather turns cold enough to make my old feel older, or when it rains and rains for that always at least one game, just to make sure I’m prepared, enough of these things, as a matter of fact, that might make that state cop who pulls me over for some reason wonder if I had a permanent address.

It’s overkill I know but nobody is going to possibly be living in my backseat when I fall off into a ravine or something, lost for days with a broken leg, living on only half a sandwich, a Slim Jim and seltzers from my little cooler on the way home other than me.

I re-discovered how much I enjoy my ride homes on the NY State Thruway from the Albany round on clear nights with a moon smile bright enough to null my headlights, or on overcast torrential downpour nights where that one trucker in front gives me guide or even on foggy ones, so soup thick, clammy wet, like this final night, that you suddenly feel as if you have a head cold and could use some actual soup, Ma chicken noodle right about now until you’re home snuggled in flannel sheets with armpit cats. There’s a just me and BB quiet to these return home nighttime rides, no matter the weather, that I cherish.

I re-discovered that one rest stop that has a Burger King, just after the one with a McDonald’s on the other side of the highway to have that old commercial’s argument of which is better and wonder if my preferred of Burger King is only because suddenly crossing the highway across the grass like in some action flick for that McDonald’s might not be the most prudent of ideas.

Plus, I took some cool pics on my rides up and in games, came about some cool posts that I wouldn’t have written without and made a dollar or two though, sadly, a necessary dollar or two, not banked ones.  

I know this all sounds overly dramatic but, well, I am trying to write a story after all, but for a guy who has come, over the years, to intentionally only go out in the world as far as he might throw in the towel on contact with people it was ten weeks of old football girlfriend dates and raucous student sections and Mom’s and Dad’s being Mom’s and Dad’s with phone held high recordings, fans and alumni with loud opinions, sidelines with coaches and players noising past the ear that doesn’t have Greg directing and grabbing a shot of coaches in shorts in cold weather for a future montage of coaches in shorts in cold weather or a calling for the sideline “Frankencam” where someone end of game will inevitably remark that I get more screen time than that of the talent (I’ve said it before but, Greg, you’re frightening the children).

I’ll be here for that phone call next year.

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