Friday, January 11, 2013

The Underside of the Game

A pass had just been intercepted. Nelson was charging down our end of the field with the ball. The crowd was going wild! As I bounced up with the rest of the crowd to see what was going on, my key case bounced down. It made a rapid descent of about twenty feet to the hazy darkness below.

It was at that point in the game that I began a somewhat less rapid descent. At the bottom, I looked back to where I accomplished my slow, downhill stumble. I couldn’t decide what was worse, the trek downward through the never ending mass of excited, shouting people or my present position within the framework of wood and steel.

On the way down I was at least able to watch the progress of the game. It probably would have been better for all concerned if I hadn’t watched. Besides being the cause of several sore toes, I also managed to jostle a Coke and bag of peanuts.  The warm, salty smell of popcorn was tantalizing in the crisp September air. But, the thought of losing the keys to my bulging, college bound suit case soon overcame further temptation to watch more of the game.

The cold criss-crosses of steel which supported the yards of slivery wood made an excellent barrier. I was trying to spot the forty yard line so I would have some idea where to begin hunting for my keys.

Finally, I saw the forty yard line.  After several minutes of searching I decided there must be two forty yard lines. There were. As I started back to the right side of the field the crowd burst forth with a wounded scream. I squatted down as far as I could but only managed to get a spectacular view of player’s feet.

Momentarily, forgetting my keys, I listened to the loud clack of helmet on helmet and the thud of body upon body.

The crowd’s cries died. I was about to resume my search when I felt something cold dribbling down my neck. I was the unsuspecting target of a bumped Coke. With a somewhat sticky sensation on the back of my neck, I returned to my search.

The snow of popcorn and confetti made a good camouflage for anything that had been dropped, my key case being no exception.

I found the forty yard line and tried to look up to find Rita, the gal I was sitting next to. I was greeted by the view of dangling feet, falling popcorn and one face which was peering down at me. I raised one eyebrow at the face about twenty feet up realizing it was Rita. I couldn’t hear her over the noise of the crowd. She pointed in the general direction of what looked like a mass of confetti, torn programs, empty cups and grass. It was just that, but underneath were my keys!

I missed most of that quarter but it was a rather novel way of watching the underside of a football game.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.

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