When I played football

If only I had a dollar for each time someone asked me, “You play football?”

Before I was a college cheerleader at two major Pac 10 schools, yep, I played football.

Played pee wee football for a few years; got a pee wee team photo to prove it.

Started both ways for my junior high team. Big man on the line, but I wanted the rock. To get my cooperation, coach let me be backup QB.

“Boyd, take over!” Coach would yell when the regular QB got hurt.
Just like that, I had to morph into the leader of the team. Usually, it all happened so fast, I barely had time to catch my breath, let alone make a play.

More reps, needed more reps. lol.

I wrote about my junior high football daze in my fourth novel, Walt Loves the Bearcat. Would you believe a former black college cheerleader who thinks of himself as a clumsy Jerry-Lewis-type throws the winning pass in the Super Bowl?

Favorite football highlight: Junior high. Late in a losing season. We play a team that’s apparently worse than us. We start piling up points; the rout is on.

Early in the game, while on defense, I swat the ball out of the opposing quarterback’s hands, picked it up off the bounce and stampede a good 10-20 yards into the end zone. Touchdown, me.

As the game ended, coach had tears of joy in his eyes. That day, we were the champions and I scored my only touchdown.

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