Seems like yesterday we were two skinny kids trying out for the freshman football team. Patty and I…..we thought it would be a hoot. We barley knew what a football was hardly watching any games on TV. There was always something better to do than to watch some millionaire throw a football around. It’s not that we had a sense on competition. We did, just not in the sports arena. Our competition was who got the better report card, or who did better on a test. When the coach told both of us that we made the team, we had to be to two most surprised people in the world, except for maybe our parents.
Three years starting for the varsity team, him on defense, me at wide receiver, landed us full collage scholarships. Patty in the north east, and me in California. We couldn’t be farther apart. But we kept in touch through E-mail and texting, and the occasional conversation. We got together every time we were home.
Our freshman year we both played sporadically before starting the next two years. After the season we got together for the holidays, like we always do. I had never seen Patty so excited to talk football when he told me about a scout that saw him play and said he would likely be an early round draft choice by the NFL if he chooses to leave collage football. I told him about a similar experience with me. It didn’t take us long before we made up our minds.
We watched the NFL draft at my mom’s house with our cell phones in hand waiting for a call saying we were pick by a team. The first three rounds went by. Nothing. Not even a text from a team saying they were interested. Hope was not lost, there was still one day left in the draft, four more rounds. We watched in despair as pick after pick went, and no phone call came.
Three years of playing semi-pro in towns I never heard of, just for the chance to play. Maybe if we would have played that forth year of collage ball things would be different. it was as if we were within reach of our dream, and in the blink of an eye it was taken from us.