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Football dreams are a joke

I'm going to do it.

I've been thinking about this for a long time, so here it is: I'm trying out this fall for the Thomson High School football team.

First let me address a few things -- most importantly how I, a college graduate, can participate in high school athletics. Well, I found a loophole in the GHSA rulebook that allows someone from non-neighboring states with no prior football experience to be granted a gift year of eligibility. I won't have to attend classes because I've already graduated from high school and instead will be able to just concentrate on football.

Secondly, I've talked with and worked out for the THS coaching staff, and they've told me that they don't have a problem with a 23-year-old newspaper reporter joining their ranks. Right now I'm slotted to try out at safety or maybe even cornerback. I've been working out after work and on the weekends every day for the past four months, and I feel like I'm in pretty good shape, though I have a ways to go.

I was, admittedly, pretty shocked when I learned about the loophole. But I've always wanted to play football, and I've never felt better physically, so I thought I may as well go for it.

My wife and I have had some serious discussions about it -- and while we both understand the inherent risks in playing football, like injuries and frequent nights away from home -- we both think this is a great opportunity. For one thing, as if The Mirror's coverage of THS football isn't good enough, imagine if a reporter doubled as a player. Think of all that inside info lucky Mirror readers would be privy to. I dare say it would be the dawn of a new era in sports journalism.

But all probably won't be fun and games. For one thing, it's been a while since I've participated in competitive athletics. I'm obviously also very new to the THS playbook. Luckily, the coaching staff has given me a head start on things by giving me an extensive overview of the defensive playbook. As most of you who watch the Bulldogs on a consistent basis may have surmised, the defensive scheme is easy to pick up but very hard to master. Nevertheless, I can't wait to get started.

Upcoming, I'll be participating in spring practice, though I won't be 100 percent. I'm still getting in shape, and I have yet to achieve my playing weight. The coaches also don't want me out on the field until I'm comfortable with the plays and the other players.

All in all, I know this will be a challenge, but I'm looking forward to help bring another championship to the Brickyard.

By the way, every word in this column is false. Come on, I'd get slaughtered out there.

Happy April Fools' Day.



Web posted on Thursday, April 1, 2004


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