Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's a Zero-Zero Ballgame!

Watching the Badgers throttle Nebraska reminds me of a funny story. It brings a smile to my face every time I think of it.

I played football all throughout high school. Every team I ever played on was pretty good. In fact, my Junior year we went to the Wisconsin State Finals and played at Camp Randall only to fall prey to a powerful opponent with a beast of a running back (I still hate you, Deforest).

Being a good team meant we heard certain things from our coach with regularity. One of coach's common halftime sayings was "Okay, boys. It's a zero-zero ballgame. Now let's go out there and execute!"

The reason he would say that is, we usually went into the locker room at halftime with a nice lead. "Zero-zero ballgame" meant that we should not rest on the first half's success, but approach the 2nd half like the game was tied. Stay focused, execute the game plan and, when the game was finally over and we were victorious, only then could we relax and celebrate.

I had a teammate who wasn't one of my favorites. He was a bit goofy and, when we were younger and I was a lot smaller than him, he would bully me. I never forgot his bullying and even when we were older, similarly sized, and he stopped picking on me, I still resented him.

For the sake of this story, we'll call him Johnson.

During my Senior year we had a problem with one of our opponents. So much so that we went into halftime down a considerable amount. I can't remember how much we were down, but it was probably about 13 points.

Anyway, in the locker room, Johnson starts yelling at his teammates, "Okay guys. It's a zero-zero ballgame!"

The coach hears him and shouts for all to hear, "Shut the hell up, Johnson. We're getting our asses kicked! We're down by 13 points and we got to go out there and play some catch up ball!"

Man, did I snicker. I took the game and our deficit pretty seriously, but when I heard that, I couldn't help but crack up. 


What a dumbass.


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