Does This Work?
Ok. I’ve never written about anything like this before–but here’s an excerpt from a story I’m working on. All you need to know is that the main character is Jet, a man in his late-thirties who is assistant coach of the Laurendale Community College (LCC) football team. There’s a lot more to the story before and after this scene, but I’m wondering if this makes any sense? Also, if you’re a football fan, feel free to be especially picky. (And thanks to Dad, for answering approximately 204 questions I had about football today.)
Coaching never had been the same as playing, but it kept him on the field and in passable shape. Jet still felt that rush of adrenaline during a player’s final sprint toward the end zone or in high-pressure moments on the fourth down right before a kick. Once, at the close of Jet’s second season, LCC found themselves in a tied match against Bowling Green Technical College on Kentucky soil, the kind of deja vu experience every senior on the field resented. The year before, they tried to run the clock down, fumbled the ball, and Kentucky scored in the final seconds of the game. The second time around, head coach once again told the boys to play it safe, preferring to break even than take risks against the first ranked team in their conference. But Jet knew that the quarterback, months away from graduation, wanted redemption and wasn’t about to finish his career running the clock down. Instead, Jet sent Fleischmann in to show up those KY Jelly boys, as LCC called them, and told him to tell the QB to pop the ball to him. A running back with 4.4 speed, Fleishmann could shred turf. He also ran the 100 for varsity track, and Jet knew this. Fleischmann was the man for the long carry, if he could just truck through the line of scrimmage first, and he’d better, or else Jet might be the one walking away from his career.
Locked into the 4th down on their own 20-yard line, 3 seconds left on the clock, Kentucky would anticipate a Hail Mary. Laurendale’s center snapped the ball back and the KY defensive line hammered into LCC like a butcher pounding meat. But the quarterback acted quick, moving the ball with a light outlet pass to Fleischmann who rolled from a linebacker’s grip like a greased pig, then scissored through two safety’s who had cut inward once they caught on, then down past the 30, the 20, the 10, skirting over Kentucky’s defensive end and into the end zone, touching the ball down for the upset and win. Jet went home believing he had it in him to orchestrate something newborn and magical, on the field at least, and as the quarters of each game unfolded into seasons of wins and losses, occasionally, regional finals, there were moments where it seemed nothing was lacking.