Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh Sweet Youth...

Coach J Laying Down the Law
My senior year in football was very memorable for me for a number of reasons. I was a defensive captain, we won state (after losing in double overtime in the state game the previous year), we were the last team to play on the old field, and other on the surface reasons. I don't want to talk about winning games though or getting tackles, because really, no one cares. So instead, I talked to one of my best friends and a former teamate, Nick Krietman. We basically broke down some of funnier moments that happened off the field (or at least off the game field), and that are kosher enough to print in a school ran blog.

So in no particular order...
  • It was about half way through the season. We were doing the standard kick off-kick return run through that I'm sure every team in the country drones through without giving anything much thought. Towards the end, our head coach, Randy Kuceyeski, freaked out. He threw his clip board, tossed his hat off, and charged onto the field, getting in the face of our starting middle linebacker Matt Norcia. They were forehead to forehead. "You want to keep up that bullshit effort? Keep it up then you shit" or something to that extent. Norcia wasn't having it. He threw off his helmet and basically told the coaching staff to f**k off and that he quit. Everyone let out a collective "oh shit" as he marched off the field towards the lockerrooms. Who was going to play middle? I sure as hell didn't want to move from defensive tackle to linebacker, I didn't know the playbook well enough to call audibles. No one really did. The back ups were no good, and you can't have an underclassmen trying to run a very complicated defense. All anyone could talk about for the rest of practice was how screwed we were. A little while later, Norcia came running back on the field with a retarded grin on his face. Kuceyeski was laughing his ass off as well. They had planned the whole thing. Why? I don't know. They rehearsed the whole thing before practice. Funny, but not cool at all.
  • My buddy Nick was not your typical offensive guard. He was a vegan, which means he not only doesn't eat meat, but any product that comes from animals, like milk or cheese. Also, he is an anarchist. So yeah, not exactly Rudy. The head offensive line coach and offensive coordinator, Karl Jenrich, was about as "movie" style coach as you could hope for. Crew Cut? Check. Mid-shin socks? Check. Hardass? Check. Thinking Nick is possibly retarded? Double Check. Coach J, as we called him, was a fan of telling players in his dog house that he was going to go "get a stick" and then beat them with it. He never actually did this, until he met Nick. Neither one of us remember what caused it all, maybe he forgot the snap count one to many times or maybe Nick just wouldn't shut up, who knows, probrably both. Long story short, Coach J stomped off to a little patch of forest on the edge of our practice field, and moments later, game back with a solid looking stick. It was more of a baby log really. Nick just sort of looked at him and laughed like it was, I don't know, a joke. It wasn't. Lucky for Nick, he was wearing a helmet, as Coach J proceeded to crack him upside the head three, maybe four times, with an actual freakin' stick. The one and only time, to our knowledge, that Coach J actually followed through with the stick threat.
  • Our QB Brett Lancaster had a thing for running around naked in the locker room. Now I realise that the locker room was created for that very purpose. It wasn't, however, made for dancing around by people's lockers and doing puppetry of the penis. On game days, we would go straight to the lockerroom after class and put on some workout clothes so we could warm up, go to meetings, get taped up, etc. Well, young Brett felt that this would be a wonderful time to try out a new, and very uncomfortable looking trick without his clothes on. Our nose guard, Greg Larsen, finally lost it. He grabbed Brett around the neck, dragged him a couple feet, and threw him out the locker room front door. Now keep in mind, our football locker room is right off the field. So it's outside. And class had just ended, so people were walking through the parking lot to get to their cars. Yeah, have a nice mental picture? Brett had to hide, naked, behind a bush outside the locker room doors for ten minutes as people passed by unaware of the naked gentleman in their midst because Greg had locked the door after he forced Brett out. Finally, a coach came by and let him in.
  • When our season ended, we were undefeated and state champs, so technically, we were the greatest team in school history. Naturally, we all felt like we deserved a little somethin' somethin'. Yet, the school AD didn't have any magical number retirement ceremony planned for us. We had to take matters into our own hands. So we did, through either purchases, gifts, or theft, every number of every starter was basically retired by force, as the jerseys were no longer in possession of the school. We pretty much just jacked our jerseys into forced retirement. So, for the following years, the team had to make due. You can now see running backs with the number 76 (like the dude in the picture) or a lineman with the number 34. It's like 1920's football style. Sadly, this past season, they ordered all new jerseys. Those sons of bitches.

And finally, a little something extra. This didn't happen when me or Nick played for Libertyville. In fact, we were both around 11 or 12 when it happened. The old head coach, Coach Christensen, found himself down by a few touchdowns at half time in during the second round of the playoffs. In order to inspire his teamates, he took out a very real looking starter pistol and shot it in the locker room. Now here's the fun part. He had this idea already worked out with his starting quarterback before hand, so when he fired it, it was aimed at the QB. The quarterback fell down and didn't move, pretending he was dead. The Coach Christensen yelled something to the extent of "This is what happens when you don't play Wildcat football." Inspired? No. Instead, a couple players and coaches slammed him into the locker and took the gun from his hands. The QB got up and the whole thing was explained. The Cats then proceeded to get crushed in the second half and Coach Christensen was fired immediatly.

1 comment:

uisjmc Cabalka said...

I love that your memories are not the actual plays or games itself but the funny memories around football. That's what happened with me when I was talking to my friend Kula. We really talk about a specific game but just the funny things or the crappy things that makes it way more interesting.