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Monday, November 8

unnatural feeling

I've watched perhaps 85% of my high school's football games. EVER. It's EZ to do when they start the entire program your freshman year.

So for 25 years, regardless of where I've lived, I've pulled hard for the Green-and-Gold. Even when I lived in Lemont in 1998, the Coalers came to town, and I sat on the visitor's side, by the mosquitoes.

But Saturday, I'm up in the big stands in the first half, wearing PURPLE, like a big fucking Barney, yelling things like "We're chewing you UP, Coal-TOWN!!" It was RIGHT THEN where I felt like a complete traitor, being untrue to myself.

For it WAS a close game on Saturday, for the first half, anyway. Coalers won the toss, and elected to kick (which is what I'd do, too, but...the FUCKERS!!) and Mendota shoved it right down their throats, against that record-setting defense, all the way to a 4th-and-goal at the 3.

Which is where our coach decided to get cute by trotting the field goal team out. Now, MY kid is on the field-goal team, so I should have been happy, right? Did I mention yet, that we haven't converted a field goal all season? Our coach, who is a MISERABLE excuse for a leader, couldn't WAIT to break Cardinal Rule #1 for Big Games:

- Thou shalt not do anything different than you hast done all season long.

Of course, Coal City shoves it back down our throats, then drives right down the field for seven. The good news is, our drive took NINE minutes, and Coal City's took 5, so a good portion of quarter 2 was already in the books. When up against a superior opponent, shorten up the game as much as possible.

After some taffy pulling, Mendota muffed a punt, and our brain-surgeon coach sends out his goal line team. When Coal City was at the ten. This WASN'T the first time this has happened, and the result has always been the same: namely, on the first play, Coal City ran around our big fat guys for six.

But Mendota marched right back down the field, and scored with less than a minute left. OKAY, we thought, only down one score, we'll take that momentum boost, not bad, not bad at all. Of course, what happened next decided the game, and caught everyone wearing purple by surprise; that is, everyone except me, and a couple of other guys who understand how the game of football actually works.

The Coalers only throw to one guy, #18, a thyroid freak we know from way back. Well, with 18 seconds left, he catches a sideline pass for about 15. With 11 seconds left, he catches a sideline pass for about 15. When he caught another sideline pass for about 15 with 4 seconds left, there was MUCH rejoicing on the purple side of the field: "Hee-Haw, what the hell are THEY smoking? They're just wasting time, and we're holding them down!!" That was when, with the ball on our 31, the Coal City field goal team came out.

FOR, and I was willing to tell one and all, if only one of the coaches would have asked, a) Coal City only throws to #18, and b) the Coal City kicker's longest FG made this year was 52. Snap, kick, wHANG!! against the crossbar, BLOOP! over the bar, Coal City 17, Mendota 7, and everyone in the place wearing purple, the fans, players, and coaches EXCEPT me and Nick just looked at the goalposts like they just grew hair, arms, legs, and tits.

Game, set, match. Coal City came out the second half and just fucking RAN over us. We were lucky to keep the score down below "running clock" territory. (40+ point lead).

Anyway, never again will I need to commit such treachery. I hope I am welcomed back somewhat this weekend, as the Coalers take on Prairie Central in the State Quarterfinals live from the Coalerdome. Thank you for your indulgence.

As for Sosa-for-Green, yes, I realize that this DOES take away from the possibility of getting Carlos Beltran, which sucks. The Tribune has enough money to pay Beltran, even if the Dominican Rectal Itch stays in town. But it won't happen, even if they trade Sosa for Green, who makes $16 milldeaux his ownself.

It'd still be an improvement, even if Green can't throw from me to the next cube.