The Written Word, Short Stories

Remember When….Halftime Speeches Were Full Of Substance?

0 Comments 23 August 2012

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and the Titans had just taken the field for warm-ups in their second game of a highly coveted pre-season tournament at the Tuckertown Sports Complex. They had it all to do.

Senior non-captain Leoj Berth surveyed the field like something out of Greek Mythology, perhaps Dionysis looking for the after party with the best guacamole. The Titans had looked a bit sluggish in their opener and wanted (needed?) a full effort this time out.

As the captains are called out for the coin toss Leoj feels his stomach drop and bolts toward the bathroom for a crap of epic proportions. As he makes his way back – relieved – he notices the game is underway and is anxiously joggs back to take his place on the field.  The dreadful news is turned in to Leoj by assistant coach France Hatchet: “They scored.  We’re down 1-0.”

“What happened?”

“They took the ball right from the kickoff and scored a goal.  Are you ready to go in?”

“Fuck yeah!” cried Leoj.

After Leoj entered the game the Titans attitude began to change from gumdrops and hula-hoop’s to razorblades and vinegar. The Titans were pressing and with the half time whistle approaching they netted the equalizer. Like any team in any sport that goes into a halftime after just tying the game you hope to keep the momentum going and a good speech from your coaches is just the way to do it.

“Ok boys”, France starts off, “First we need to realize how close it is to gametime and plan our bathroom breaks accordingly. You really should know if you have to go to the bathroom before the game starts so you’re not missing any of the game. These aren’t the types of things that just sneak up out of nowhere. STOP DILYDALLYING AND JUST GO ALREADY!”

“Coach, are you referring to the crap I had to take as the game was about to start?” asks Leoj.

“Well, in this instance yes.  But I figured it is something that needs to be addressed before it gets out of hand.”

“I’m 17 and have been crapping on my own now for a good number of years.  Sometimes, like today, craps do kind of sneak up on you. If I hadn’t left when I did I would have had a completely different issue on my hands and in my shorts to take care of. I most certainly would have missed more of the game.” Leoj explains matter of factly.

“It’s ok Leoj.  Craps have been known to sneak up on me from time to time, I think it happens to everybody at least once in their lives.” reassures Chet  L. Nardo, fellow senior non-captain.

Then it was Ryon Yacilogo and Chip Murpy until finally all of the Titans chimed in with the acceptance and realization that any one of them could have been thrust into the same predicament, (do I crap in a toilet and miss a couple of minutes of the game or do I crap in my pants and miss the whole thing), and they began to rise and chant as one. It was then that the ref blew the whistle for the second half to begin.

The opposition looked in disarray throughout the second half and the Titans were able to walk off with the victory. Not only on the scoreboard but internally as they had become the team they knew they had to be for the long and grueling season ahead. The coaching staff had done their job, “Find a way to keep the momentum, turn up the aggression and play as a cohesive unit.”  It all starts with a few words of wisdom and that is one of the many things they were known for.

*Some of the names in this story have been changed to protect those involved.

Reins Hagglemeyer

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.


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