Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Summer on its last burnished legs
"He's messing up the snaps," the quarterback said. One of the dozen assistant coaches pulled the center away from the huddle, tossed him the ball. "Let me see you snap," he said.
The teenager tossed the ball through his legs. The coach caught it, pitched it back.
They passed the ball back and forth 10 times, then the coach held it.
"Man," he said. "Are you hitting yourself in the nuts?"
The teen -- a lumbering 245-pounder -- kept one hand on the astroturf as he nodded.
"Man, that should be your No. 1 goal. Just keep thinking it, 'Do not hit myself in the nuts.'"
The practice paused as the other team flew into the endzone for touchdown number three. The game looked lost. The coach caught the center's eye and passed the ball back. "This isn't the only game," he said. "It's just the first game."
The boy snapped again, just a little lower. It sailed clear and easy. A perfect snap. Something to show off next week.