I was speaking with someone a few years older than me the other day and he was laughing derisively about how "this generation thinks that their opinion counts", and the fact that struggling is a thing of the past with the 30 and under crowd. He is much older than me, and he was telling stories of being broke and working and how utterly happy he was when he got his first job coaching. He had 10 teams to train and he was paid a pauper's wage and when his boss told him how many teams that he was in charge of, he said, "Thank you!", and got to work. And then after years of coaching he got sick of it all and moved way , way out into the country where he didn't have to deal with the "Political BS and the spoiled rotten entitled of today." He was going off. I told him to relax, that sometimes folks just don't get it. And I said that he was painting the whole generation with a pretty wide brush. And then he said, "I know, but damn it's fun to rant once in awhile." And we left it at that, and we started talking about squatting and country music. Real country: Whitey Morgan, Waylon, Willie, George Jones, Old Hank Jr., some Hank 3. Hell, what else is there to talk about?
And then I was talking to someone else, who, when they were just a little kid, got into an argument with their cousin, and went back to the house and got his BB gun. His Dad stopped him and asked where he was going. "Going to kill my cousin", he said. "Nah, you ain't gonna do that," said his dad. Then his dad said, "There are gonna be times in life when you will have to fight though, son. And let me tell you something: Once you start fighting, never take a backwards step." And when he was telling me that story, I thought that was an awesome axiom for life in general, too.
And I was thinking of my high school coach (We only had 2 coaches by the way), and how we weren't allowed to have water during the games but that someone sold him on this this awful sugary slop that I really can't describe that was supposed to "give you energy". It was some gruel that was like chunky, sugary oatmeal. It just made you more thirsty. In fact, I got so thirsty that during a playoff game my junior year against Anne Arundel (Kirk Karwoski was on the Anne Arundel team), I saw that, in the stands, my girlfriend was drinking a Sprite and asked her to bring it down to me and hand it over the railing. Damn, that was a good Sprite.
And I was thinking about how during games in high school, my linebacker partner Billy Henson, an All Metropolitan player, would say, "I'm gonna blitz this play," and for me to cover for him and he usually made the play and the coaches never said a word if he didn't. Man, Billy was a good player. We'd go around on Friday nights in his Chevette and "borrow" street signs and take them to his girlfriend's house off of Sellman Road and leave them in her front yard. Not sure why he thought that was something that she wanted, but he did it all of the time. Like a cat leaving a mouse as an offering at the front door or something.
And I was thinking about how we didn't know anything in high school about lifting and training so we had some Nebraska program where we added 5 pounds a week and everybody got pretty strong and then we would run a mile and some 40's and everybody got pretty fast, too. Then in the summer after training we would pile in Carlo's brother Luigi's Ford Escort with no shocks and we'd crank up Quiet Riot and we'd go to Carlo's house and his mom would feed us and we'd go to the pool. And we all worked at Adelphi Mobil pumping gas. Carlo and Rick worked during the week and I worked 13 hours on Saturday and we'd make 5 bucks a piece fixing flats for people. How can you beat that? Training, eating, working and hanging out with your boys. Simple, fun times.