I CAN’T WATCH!!!
I am a coach’s son. Coach’s sons tough it out. Coach’s sons play with pain. Coach’s sons come through no matter what.
One of my former students is a coach’s son. When he was in my freshman (called that back then) English class, he and I would talk about being coach’s sons. I said I learned I could never be a coach. He said that being a coach was all he wanted to be. And he — Brian Morehouse — just became the youngest coach at any college or university level to win 600 games. 600! Of course he owes it all to freshman English.
Of course he’s being celebrated. And he’s carried all the deserved recognition with his usual modesty and without a single cliche. Honesty. Integrity. Deflected attention. Even disbelief. Through and through. And I know he never missed a game.
Me? I turned into a teacher and a poet. And Tuesday night I missed a game. I did not come through. I was to read at a special winter lecture series. I caught and kept a bug that is spreading its way through household after household. And I all but drove my wife Julie crazy first with insisting I go “anyway” and then by over and over and over saying to her how I’m letting everyone down.
“You play anyway. You can’t let down the team. Get out there.”
And so to all of you who didn’t know of the cancellation and who were at the door reading the sign, I’m sorry. And that doesn’t cut it.
Coach’s Son Tells His Wife What It Was Like
I couldn’t wait for the game
to be over. Win. Lose. I knew
what to expect: Talk. Sports pages.
Television. Radio. Even a win was
seldom good enough: “I thought they’d win
by more than that!” “Why’d your father
keep Daniels in? He was terrible.” “Yeah. but
next game?” Losing led to all their reasons why.
I’d shiver hearing “Coach blew it at the end.”
“When’s he gonna give up on that combination?”
Headline: LOOKS LIKE A LONG LOSING YEAR!
Headline: WILL THIS BE COACH’S LAST SEASON?
At school I would sit in class wishing I could read:
CAR DEALER BLOWS SALE AT END OF DAY!
DENTIST SCREWS UP ROOT CANAL!
After a win I’d only sigh. After a loss, I
would lie in bed readying my words, and
cringe as I felt my fists unfold.
Published in Aethlon: Journal of Sports Literature
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