My First Football Game
by Susan Hylton
(written circa 1975)
Shall I tell you about the very first football game I ever saw? Of course I didn’t see it very well because Harry couldn’t afford very good seats. In fact, the seats we got were so far back we found it better to sit on a very sturdy branch that grew over the edge of the stadium . . . and even this was crowded. I was constantly moving over to make room for others up there: six crows and three red-headed woodpeckers.
I must admit that Harry did everything possible for my comfort. We had popcorn, peanuts, hot dogs, ice cream bars. Best of all, Harry promised to pay me back the very next day . . .
Harry taught me the idea of the game. A man has to carry the football from one end of the field to the other. Isn’t that a perfectly silly thing to make a game out off? . . . But there they were . . . full-grown men running, falling, kicking all over the place just to have the ball for a few seconds . . . Why, they could have saved their money so each player had one.
My biggest confusion came when I tried to tell our team from the enemy team. Harry said that our team was the one with the football. But pretty soon the other team had the ball, and I was confused again.
One time I looked down and there was a player carrying a brass drum instead of a football. I asked Harry about it and he said it was the half. Well, it certainly looked like a whole drum to me . . . then it was the musicians’ turn to play. Of course they didn’t play football . . . they played music . . . I guess someone had kicked the football over the fence because all the players were gone quite a while looking for it. But pretty soon they found it, and the players came whooping back again.
Harry explained to me about the men with striped shirts. They seemed to be afraid of the football and just stood off to one side and played their own little game – whistle blowing. Every time a player fell down with the ball, these funny little men blew their whistles like mad and made crazy little motions with their arms. Harry said it was all part of the game.
I finally got the game figured out. I think it goes this way. Each player has a number on his back. If player number 67 catches the ball, his team scores 67 points; while if player number 88 catches the ball, his team scores 88 points. Somehow this doesn’t seem fair to players with little numbers like 13 and 15, does it? . . . It was an exciting game all the way. The final score was five thousand, nine hundred and thirty-five to zero.
Added some punctuation for clarity but the occasional . . . was part of the original.
recovered by sjhl 5/21/17 : )