Tag Archives: football

Person Of The Year (Part 2)

(Continued from yesterday.)

“Ahhhh!” one of the young men screamed.

Grant turned. A young man laid on the ground grasping the back of his knee wrenching and grimacing in pain.

Behind him was a short man in a city maintenance uniform. He held a club in his hand. “Only three left, whose next.”

They ran and the injured man hobbled away as fast as he could.

“That was a close one,” the man said.

“It sure was,” Grant said. “I don’t know how to thank you.”

“That’s okay,” the man said, “I just come here once a week to empty the trash… in more ways than one.”

“Don’t I know you?” Grant said.

“I don’t think we ran around in the same social circles,” the man said looking at Grant’s expensive suit.

“Sure,” Grant said. “I know you, JC Sizemore, running back at my old high school. You were two years ahead of me.”

“Well, it’s always good to meet an old alumni,” JC said, “no matter what the circumstances.”

“Sure,” Grant said. “you were the big man on campus.”

JC chuckled. “I guess I was so busy being the big man that I’m afraid I don’t remember you.”

“There were 2,000 kids at that school,” Grant said, “everyone’s a face in the crowd.”

“If you like, I can walk with you out of the park,” JC said.

“That’s okay,” Grant said, “you’ve done enough.”

“I’d sure like to reminisce further, but I got a schedule,” JC said.

“I understand,” Grant said. “I’m sure glad to have seen you again and once again thanks.”

JC smiled and nodded.

Grant walked away.

(Continued tomorrow.)



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I Had A Dream


(Continued from yesterday.)

Quote from the movie Bronco Billy:

Bronco Billy McCoy: You should never kill a man unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Here is Louie’s dream:

The mob down at Billy Bronco’s quickly grabbed Louie. He struggled to try for the door. Someone slid a table in front of the door to bar his escape. They pushed him around in a little game of cat and mouse.

“Take that!” someone said.

“How does that feel?” someone said.

“Not so good is it?” someone said

“We’ve had it with you?” someone said

Louie cried out, ‘Is there not one of you with a sense of decency?”

“We’re a mob. We hide our decency,” someone said.

“He’s calling us indecent,” someone said. “You heard him boys. Lets string ‘im up.”

A rope with a noose was tossed over a beam. It dangled and swung ominously. A chair was grabbed and placed under the rope. Louie was hoisted upon the chair. The rope was slid down over his head and pulled snug around his neck.

“What did I do? What did I do? Louie cried out.

Everyone stared in sort of a gleeful trance.

“For what crime am I being hung?” Louie said tearfully.

“You mentioned Kellen Moore and an unspeakable term in the same sentence,” someone said.

“I never said ‘n-word.’” Louie said.

A collective gasp filled the room. Fright fell upon their faces. There were screams of horror. Some held hands over their ears. Some fainted.

“What is the ‘n-word?’” someone said temptingly.

“Noodle arm,” Louie said. “I never said Kellen Moore and noodle arm in the same sentence, ever.”

“Blasphemy!” someone said.

“Heresy!” someone said.

“Apostasy!” someone said.

“Sacrilege!” someone said.

“Profane!” someone said.

“Irreverent!” someone said.

“Disgusting!” someone said.

Louie begged. “Mercy, please.”

“No one ever says Kellen Moore and ‘BW’ (Bad Word) in the same sentence,” someone said.

“Is there need of any further proof?” someone said.

“Somebody kick the chair and let’s watch him dangle,” someone said.

“What if we just don’t pay attention to him?” someone suggested.

“We got another rope and more chairs for you!” someone said. “This is mob mentality, no one thinks independently.”

“Keep silent and do what the mob says,” someone said.

“But I didn’t know ‘noodle arm’ was a BW,” Louie cried out.

“Well, it is here!” someone said.

“Let him hang!” someone said, but they all kicked the chair.

Louie swung silent, alone, and a tear dripped from his lifeless body.

Louie awakened from his dream. Immediately he thought of names, words and phrases he should not mention in the same sentence.

“Grant Hedrick and happy feet.”

“Jay Ajayi and fumblitis.”

“Shane Williams-Rhodes and small.”

“Don’t confuse Petersen with Peterson.”

“Brotzmen and choked.”

“Billy Bronco’s and sense of humor.”



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Quarterbacks, Quiet, and Quenching At Billy Bronco’s

 (This is fiction. It didn’t really happen. Billy Bronco’s doesn’t exist. It’s a fictional place.)

Quote from the movie, Bronco Billy:

thIWJAW7O8Antoinette Lilly: What are you going to do?

Bronco Billy McCoy: I do the thinking around here.

Antoinette Lilly: I hadn’t noticed.

Now the story:


Louie walked into Billy Bronco’s without a care in the world. “Drinks on me!” he said with a lilt equaled only by his gait and smile.

Nobody bothered to thank him or even acknowledge his presence.

“I guess you guys are still… well, you know,” Louie said, “the Kellen Moore selfie thing. I know it runs deep.”

One person at the bar slid Louie’s beer on the house away.

“You know you guys were right,” Louie said. “There’s things that shouldn’t be mentioned.”

The bar remained quiet.

“Kellen is up to over a half a mil this year,” Louie said. “Probably the most underpaid player in NFL.”

“Quit trying to wheedle your way back into our good graces,” a voice said from a distant part of the bar. Along with it came murmurings of affirmation.

“This is probably one of the best years in recent memory that we’ve had really good depth at quarterback,” Louie said. “Hedrick had a strong year last year. Hedrick to Miller may be the ticket this year. Finley will be nothing but stronger this year. He’s had a year in the system and has talent, great vision, and poise. That Stewart kid put up some decent numbers in junior college. I know it’s a long way from there to here, but he’s got something on the ball. He’s a stout kid; looks like he can take a licking and keep on ticking.”

“Yeah,” someone said, “whatever.”

“We got that Ogle kid from Florida coming our way,” Louie said. “We’re doing pretty good down there. The state has a lot of talent. That kid reminds me of Ben Rothlisberger.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Someone skeptically said.

“Then we got that Rypien kid coming in,” Louie said. “That’s a lot of talent and competition for one spot. That’s what makes good teams; the competition within the team for the same spot.”

The only thing heard was some clearing their throats, maybe even a cricket.

“What kind of kid do you think Harsin was in his quarterbacking days at Boise?” Louie said. “Anybody remember.”

“Nice try,” a voice said muffled by a glass being tipped to their mouth.

Louie took a gulp of his beer and sat it down half full. “Well I’m going to go. Haven’t heard much out of you guys lately and just thought I’d check in and see how things are. See ya later.”

As Louie rose from his stool he called out, “Go Broncos!” (Normally it brings a “Go Broncos!” in return by at least a half dozen.)

All was quiet, so quiet the sound of gulping beer was heard up and down the bar.

One person at the end of the bar said to Louie as he was about to leave, “Thanks for the beer, Louie. You okay?”

“Yeah,” Louie said. “I had a dream the other night.”

“What was it about?”

“Not in here,” Louie said. “Let’s step outside.”

(Continued tomorrow.)



Filed under Short Stories, Sports

A Night At Billy Bronco’s

thH6YOQQNPBilly Bronco’s is a bar where all the faithful Boise State fans on the east side talk about their passion – Boise State football, wet their whistles, talk about their passion – Boise State football, fill their bellies, and talk about their passion – Boise State football.

February is the worst time of the year for college football fans; the previous season has been replayed hundreds if not thousands of times, there’s not much to speculate about on the upcoming season, and National Signing day occurs the first part of the month leaving nothing new for a beer to wash down.

One of the bartenders, Kevan, likes to toss a bone out there every now and then, if you know what I mean; something for the boys to chew on. The more they chew the more they drink. It’s called job security. Anyway, it’s mid February and beer sales are as low as cleats on natural turf. Kevan thinks it would be a good idea to start a conversation about each of the new coaches. This is perfect. Nobody really knows anything for sure about the new coaches so it’s a time to let the creative juices flow and nothing lubricates creativity like beer (so I’m told).

One night everyone is settled into there favorite hitching post and Kevan says, “What do you guys think of Caldwell?”

Butch (he’s a little thick) says, “I got ran out of their one night.”

“No,” Kevan said. “Steve Caldwell, the Broncos new defensive line coach,” (And it’s a good thing he said that, conversations have a way of going astray. One night he said what do you guys think of Harper and the first comment was about the writer Harper Lee. What ensued was a literary discussion comparing Harper Lee to Margaret Mitchell. Well whose going to drink beer over that? But they did.)

A guy named Reno says, “I think the first order of business is move Horn to stud.”

There’s some agreement noted by a simultaneous lifting of classes and the sound of them placed back on the bar with the same precision as a Marine honor guard.

There’s silence.

There’s this guy they call Jittery. (Here’s his story: Some accuse him of inviting the regulars over to his place to have a beer, but he says, “I can’t hold that much beer in my basement and besides my place don’t have near the ambiance.”) Anyway Jittery pipes up with, “I think the second order of business is to not listen to fans.”

Reno can’t let this go. So he fires back with, “Hey if you don’t like this place and the diversity of opinions go home.”

Jittery waits in silence. He seldom has supporters. Everyone is suspicious of his motives, not withstanding his comments are usually stupid.

Then from nowhere a guy known at Trav says, “Hey, that is diversity. Yeah, he gets under my skin, but maybe he makes sense this time, not really, but maybe, so don’t quote me.”

“Reno,” Clever Clyde says. “It was tongue in cheek, chill.”

“Hey, Reno,” Jittery says. “I was trying to be funny. I meant no offense. You offered an opinion, I offered one. You drink Bud Light, I drink Guinness.”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Reno says.

“It means if you drank Guinness it would cost me more to buy you a beer,” Jittery said. He looked over at Kevan. “Get Reno a beer on me.”

“Nah, nah, Jittery,” Reno said. “Let me buy you one. Kevan set one in front of Jittery.”

“I got the next round,” Trav says.

“Don’t forget me!” Clever Clyde says. “The next round’s on me.”

Kevan smiles. He’s drawing beers faster than a one handed diary farmer at milking time.

“Now this is fun,” Reno says. “I ain’t had this much fun since that discussion about Harper and Mitchell. Didn’t Mitchell go to California and set the bench until he got busted for possession?”

Kevan smiled. “Yeah, I guess you could say he was gone with the wind.”

(Posted as a Daily Prompt.)


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Prepare to Die & The Daily Prompt


Daily Prompt: Something So Strong

Tell us the origin story of your best friend. How did you become friends? What is it that keeps your friendship rockin’ after all these years?

One of my best friends (I have many) and I met in first grade. We parted when my parents moved. We met again over 20 years later.  Our friendship has been cemented by service to our Creator.

Here is a story about two old acquaintances who meet after many years.  Hope you enjoy.

Prepare to Die 

Inigo the Bear is what we called him back in my high school football days, but his real name was Inigo Montoya. He was even bigger now. He came to our school from someplace in Mexico. The biggest Mexican any of us had ever seen. He was absolutely the best defensive lineman I’d ever seen. He was fast, aggressive, quick, agile, and smart.

There he was walking into the mall with a gentle, soft, sweet, pretty, and shy girl perhaps 14 years old.

“Wait for me on the bench, sweetie,” Indigo the Bear said with the kindest voice one could imagine. “I’ll be out in a minute. We’ll go shopping for what you need as soon as I’m done here.”

“Are you sure you want to go into a girl’s store with me?” she said.

“Sure,” Inigo the Bear said. “I’m a father. I’m not embarrassed to be a father. Are you embarrassed of me?”

She smiled broadly. “Of course not, Daddy, but if you’re uncomfortable and want to wait outside I’ll understand.”

Inigo the Bear smiled. I’d seen that smile before; after a quarterback sack where the guy had to hobble to the sideline. I grinned at a quick memory of the time he hit the quarterback so hard he left the field and went to our bench and sat down. We tried to get the quarterback to his team’s bench and he said, “Are you kidding me, if a fight breaks out I wanna be on the side of the guy who hit me.”

As she sat there I wondered how children have the ability to bring out the gentle nature that is locked away in many. I recalled when he accepted a full college scholarship and in his second year of school had a serious car accident. He was unable to play after that, but I heard he went on to receive a degree.

A boy, perhaps about 18 sat next to the girl. A blond haired kid, about six feet, thin, but muscular. I could not hear what was said, but she appeared uncomfortable. She turned away from him and when he persisted she scooted away. He rested his hand on her leg and she shoved it away.

I started to walk slowly toward the situation, but Inigo the Bear beat me to it.

“Stand up,” Inigo the Bear said.

What I saw next was inconceivable. The guy stands up and smirks. “Dude, she’s a babe. Like, it’s a compliment. You know who I am. I’m Lance Wilkerson, all-state quarterback. I’m going to Southern Cal.”

“If you don’t leave now,” Inigo the Bear said. “You ain’t gonna be going no where.”

“Hey, Lance,” I said. “I’m an old friend of this man. You ever heard of Inigo the Bear.”

“Yeah,” Lance said. “They got a picture of him in our locker room.”

“It suddenly came to me why they called him Inigo the Bear,” I said. “Bear is obvious, but there was a character in a movie when we were in high school and his recurring line was, “’Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to die.’”

The smile escaped Lane’s face quicker than a teenage thief with a a stolen CD running through the mall.

“He hates quarterbacks,” I said.

Lance smiled and left.

He got few feet away and I yelled out, “No, no Bear don’t go after him!”

Lance streaked for the door.

Inigo the Bear smiled. “I think he’ll make it. He’s fast.”

Then Inigo the Bear looked down at me. “Weren’t you our quarterback in high school?”

“Yes,” I said.

A scowl came on his face. “I never liked you.” Than he smiled broadly. “Good to see you again.” He shook my hand. “Thanks for defusing a situation.”

“Hey,” I said. “I was saving Lance, we quarterbacks have got to stick together.”


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Quarterback Situation At Boise State: Once Dark Now Dazzling

Grant Hedrick

Grant Hedrick

The once bleak quarterback situation at Boise State seems to have rounded out the past week or so.

Grant Hedrick is obviously the leader of the pack. He has a half-year experience as a starter. He plays well, in fact he plays exceptionally well. The bar for quarterbacks at Boise is set very high; there have been some great ones. Hedrick is probably the most athletic quarterback Boise has had.

It will be the first time at Boise State he will play the role as a front-runner. He’s always been chasing, now he’s being chased. It’s amazing how some horses don’t run well from behind, but when they take the lead they just don’t maintain the lead they increase it. They run faster than they do when trying to overcome the leader.

Thomas Stewart

Thomas Stewart

Thomas Stewart was a good pick-up. He is skilled coming to Boise State with junior college experience. He may likely line up as Grant Hedrick’s backup. Stewart looks as if he could slip into Hedrick’s uniform and you’d never know the difference.


Ryan Finley

Ryan Finley, who comes to BSU with good credentials is a red-shirt freshman with a healing shoulder injury. He’s a different type of quarterback; tall and comfortable in the pocket. Could he move in behind Hedrick? It’s hard to say, he hasn’t taken any college snaps.

Alex Ogle

Alex Ogle

This past week Boise picked-up a high school senior, Alex Ogle. He is regarded as a sleeper and may well be the diamond in the rough. It’s difficult to project how soon it will take him to adjust to the college game and college life. Most likely he may be red-shirted. That has been Boise’s modus operandi.

Thomas Sperbeck

Thomas Sperbeck

Boise State also has Thomas Sperbeck on the roster who is a wide receiver, but quarterbacked in high school. (He can flat out fly. In the future there will be some wide receiver sweeps with Sperbeck launching some deep ones.)

Richard Hoppe

Richard Hoppe

The one quarterback that seems to escape mention is Richard Hoppe. He’s no slouch. He’s nimble on his feet and has a decent arm with a nice touch on the ball. He’s a walk-on. Those guys turn out to be the guys who have the greatest motivation to succeed. If he was good enough to be given a number he must have sufficient skills to play. Last year he red-shirted. (I’m giving him another paragraph.)

From watching some high school video he looks poised and comfortable. He’s Boise State; undersized, underrated, under recruited and if called upon will over achieve.

That makes a possible six quarterbacks roster. I think Boise State can live with that.

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Lame-Duck Coaches

"Hey, Petersen, you can have my job in a few months. It's gonna be open." "Dang! Now that's all I'm going to be able to think about."

“Hey, Petersen, you can have my job in a few months. It’s gonna be open.”
“Dang! Now that’s all I’m going to be able to think about.”

The importance of the loss to Oregon State in the Hawaii Bowl is coming into focus. The peegate debacle led to a complete melt-down in morale and took the focus from the game. It could not have been orchestrated better.

The loss to Oregon State was huge. It may have cost a few of recruits, especially the ones that went to where nearly the entire Boise State coaching staff went – University of Washington.

The BSU coaches had no incentive to win at the Hawaii Bowl. Does that mean they rigged it to lose? Absolutely not! But the incentive was clearly not there.

Coaches are fierce competitors by nature, but they were a lame-duck coaching staff. They knew their future was not with Boise. They knew that a Boise win might make it a little more difficult to flip a recruit their way when they took up residency in Seattle.

Going to the Hawaii Bowl is like getting $2 tickets for a Broncos Basketball game; (not the basketball team’s fault, the fans) you’re there to just fill the seats. There was nothing to be gained in the final rankings; only the prestige that goes along with winning a bowl game and possibly attracting better recruits as a result of a victory.

If the head coach stays (which he didn’t, he had recruiting for UW to do) he would have at least tried to pad his resume with another win. Since the rest of the coaching staff was heading to UW what do they have to prove. Likely all of them knew they had jobs waiting for them at UW… except for one.

And coincidently the only bright spot was the coach who didn’t go to UW, Robert Prince. Grant Hedrick and the Boise State offense out-passed the heralded Beaver passing attack 382 yards to 259 and beat them in total offense. Prince didn’t fumble two balls ran back for TDs and checking the highlights he didn’t miss one tackle.

All agree that the last two years with the exception of a few bright spots BSU’s performance has been less than stellar. It starts at the top. At times, especially this past season, Petersen looked disengaged on the sidelines. Something like that is like the pebble in the pond; the ripples spread outward.

Petersen probably saw himself becoming anemic. He may have felt he needed a jolt; a new challenge to stimulate his ego and competitive spirit.

The BSU program needs a jolt, a wake-up call. Nothing magic happens when a recruit comes to Boise. The blue turf does not suddenly infuse a player with super powers. It is hard work and heart, maybe just maybe Petersen and his staff forgot that. Not the hard work, but the incentive to go out and prove you’re as good if not better than your opponents.

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