17 May 2013

To the Pro Bowl

Scene: Western University COMP NW campus

Just looking at the picture you would think Scott was teaching a study group, right?

You would be wrong. This is a meeting of "The Second Years" flag football team of the Lebanon Flag Football League. (Yes, that was their official team name. They clearly did not consult a woman before they chose it). The above meeting occured before the semi-final game, where members of the second year class battled against members of the first year class for a chance to compete in the league championship. My husband takes his sports seriously.

So seriously that when he twisted his ankle on the day of the championship game, you would have thought he had broken it. He immediately called his players to prepare a backup game plan. It was also one of the three times in our marriage that I've seen him take pain medication. When he walked on that ankle it was painful, so he prepared to not be quarterback or even play in the game at all.

How long do you think that lasted? I love this picture of him standing on the sidelines that night. You can tell from his posture that he is so frustrated not being in the game.

The Second Years were battling under the lights against a team of local athletes. Since The Second Years were two seed in the tournament, playing against the first seed team, they were listed as Guest on the scoreboard and our cheering section was on the uncovered bleachers. Though Scott and his team were welcomed competitors, you could feel that this championship was more than just a game. The local teams did not want to be beaten in the Lebanon flag football tournament on the Lebanon High School football field by this group of nomadic students. The home cheering section included not only the wives and friends of the home team, but also team members from some of the other local teams.

And it was a great game! Home would make a touchdown, followed closely by a guest touchdown. There was a lot of movement and tension. It wasn't even the end of the first half that Scott was playing again, saying he could barely feel any pain in his ankle (it really did heal up by the next day).

Second half, the game was tied, 42 to 42, with about a minute left on the clock. The Second Years had taken the ball all the way down the field. With their last chance on the drive, they attempted a field goal kick and made it! This certainly motivated the home team, who turned around and made a touchdown with only five seconds left on the clock.

With a team full of (extremely) competitive medical students, this loss was tough. Heads were down. I believe I even heard some loud barking. But I was really impressed with Scott (may have been a side effect of the drugs). He took a leadership role and congratulated all his team members pointing out their best plays. And while the winning team took pyramid pictures in front of their scoreboard, Scott rallied the team for their one and only team picture of the season.

The story doesn't end there, because of course the Lebanon Flag Football League is having a pro bowl game. Team coaches were asked to nominate four players from their team to play. Of course, as coach, Scott nominated himself... as quarterback. This time he vows he wont be playing ankle twisting basketball on game day.