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06:21:21 - 2000-04-04

FOOTBALL SUCKS

My knee feels like I've had midgets using it as a trampoline all night.

So...I'm walking around like ...like...like...well...like a guy who's had midgets hopping up and down on his knee all night.

Sorry...it's early...my metaphor bank isn't open yet.

Usually...on days when I walk like a polio victim, I blame the stiff walking on an old "football injury". Those that don't know me too well then walk away saying..."What a great guy. He gave up his knee in the name of football."

Heh. If only they knew.

Growing up, I was NOT into sports, unless you wanted to call pro wrestling a sport, which sadly, nobody wanted to do in the 70s.

I was 14 and living in Athens, Greece when I fell in lust with a girl named Jane.

Jane was a new girl from England and she was GORGEOUS. Luckily for me, she made friends with my friends and before long, she was part of our group of friends.

How come I wanna break out into a chorus of "I'll Be There For Youuuuuuu" right now??

Anywhooo...even though Jane was a friend, she made it quite clear...

...She only dated football players.

Dammit all to hell. I didn't know jack about football and didn't have any interest in learning it.

But...if I was ever going to kiss those bee-stung lips...I had to play football.

So ... I went out for the school team.

My first day on the field... as we're all getting our pads on, one of my buddies asked if I was going to play offense or defense.

"What's the difference" I innocently asked.

It was all downhill from there.

When I started playing I was a 220-lb. fat assed 14-year-old.

After four months of daily exercise and practice, I was down to 160 lbs.

My parents were overjoyed. They finally got to see my rib cage after years of being buried under rolls of fat.

Being in Athens, Greece...there weren't a whole lot of American kids in the area to play football.

In fact, there were only enough to form two teams in the area. My team...and the other team.

So, our football season consisted of us playing the same team eight Saturdays in a row.

We lost six games, won one game and tied another.

I think by the eighth game, we had maybe six people in the stands. Even the parents were bored with our "season" and would find any excuse to avoid sitting in the hot Greek sun and cheering on a bunch of losers.

Because of my lack of knowledge about football, I was reduced to standing on the sidelines for about 95% of the season. The few pictures that I have of me in my football uniform were taken from the stands by my mom. It's just me, standing on the sidelines with my hip jutted out to one side, looking totally geeky. Like I didn't belong there at all.

The few times I actually played in a game, I did okay. I ended up playing defensive tackle which was by far the easiest position for me. My job was to tackle whoever had the ball. Simple enough.

Nobody explained to me that face masking was not kosher. So, I had no trouble getting to the ball, as long as I grabbed players by the front of their helmets and jerked their heads to the ground.

Those guys bit the dust almost instantly. Whiny crybaby bastards.

And strangely enough...the referees never penalized me. I guess I did a good enough job of hiding my stupidity.

I never did hurt myself playing football.

But I did play. So any knee or ankle ailments I have today get blamed on those five minutes of football I played 25 years ago.

Works for me.

Oh yeah...Jane...heh...

Jane fell madly in love with me once I went out for football.

We began "going" together. The day I asked her to go with me, I was so thrilled that I ran home and made Mom iron some letters onto a T-shirt that said "I Love Jane".

Mom...not batting an eyelash...did it for me.

I wore the t-shirt to school the next day and Jane thought it was the sweetest thing anyone had ever did for her.

Looking back...Jesus...we had been "going" together for 24 hours and I do something stupid like declaring my "love" for this 14-year-old on a T-shirt?!?!

It's amazing I didn't get the shit kicked out of me daily for being such a lovelorn dipshit.

Anyway...we lasted five weeks total.

I, Uncle Bob, ended up getting a pretty big head over the whole ordeal.

I had shed 60 lbs and was looking better than I ever had.

I got the girl of my dreams easier than I ever thought I would be able to.

She was madly in teenage love with me.

Hence...ALL GIRLS should be madly in love with me and I shouldn't just be tied down to one.

So I dumped Jane who took it so hard, she didn't get another boyfriend for almost a month.

Meanwhile...I found out quickly that no other girl was even remotely interested in me and ended up skinny, obnoxious and alone.

And .... there was no other girl that made my heart melt quite like Jane did.

I guess I shoulda weighed my options before dumping her.

On my very last night in Greece, Jane and I finally spoke at my going-away party.

She hadn't been invited to the party, but showed up anyway to say goodbye.

We went outside and sat and talked and cried. I apologized for being such a dick and she apologized because she thought it was something she had done.

No babe. It was all my inflated ego.

Once I got back to the states, we began corresponding through letters. She moved back to England shortly after I left Greece.

I still have all her letters and read some a few weeks ago.

She was such a beautiful, smart and perfect girl. And I dumped her.

I'm such an asshole.

Football sucks.

And my knee hurts like hell.

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