I Am a Football Idiot

I live right across the street from an Irvington football player.

When we were in elementary and middle school, we played basketball together almost every afternoon in our neighborhood’s cul-de-sac.

It’s been a long time since we last played. I don’t think basketball is currently his sport of choice. And I admit that beating a boy just isn’t fun anymore. (Just kidding; he almost always won.)

Even so, I didn’t expect to be so shocked to see him when I knocked on his door to request an interview. He was suddenly a foot taller and, as my sister put it, “with big guns.”

We talked on the day before the Irvington vs. Clayton Valley game. Throughout the interview, I asked many stupid questions. It was difficult, because I didn’t (and still don’t) know what the name of his position even means. Offensive, what? Line, what? “Excuse my ignorance,” I told him.

As you can tell, I am a football idiot.

But I will try to give you something to think about. A handful of the football team’s star players are ineligible. A lot of us know that. But do enough of us care? We should. There are some great quarterbacks, linemen, receivers, and (insert other positions) in our school, but they’re not all playing.

My neighbor, Daniel Topps, was one of the ineligible players watching from the sidelines during the game against Clayton Valley.

I was at that game too. It was my first football game ever. Unfortunately, I think I paid more attention to my steaming-hot nachos and the flustered coaches waving their clipboards than I did to the actual game. I couldn’t understand it. The final score was 47-7. Irvington lost.

What a pity. But a change in grade policy for sports wouldn’t make much of a difference now. Even if we really really really want our team to win, all we can at present is cross our fingers and hope that the ineligible players get their make-up work together before the football season passes us by. Hey, there’s still Homecoming to look forward to, right? Meanwhile, I will go to the library and crack open a book on football theory.