The Treachery Of Scrimmages

Episode Ninety-Seven: The Treachery Of Scrimmages.
In which nothing ever goes right.

1 comment:

  1. As a child I played football for about five years, until I entered high school. At which point I took up cigarettes.

    From the beginning I was stuck in as guard, which is the least dynamic position on the field: never handling the ball, functionally trying to obstruct other people from moving around by standing in their way.

    As I gained seniority on the team, I began to play backfield during pre-season training. During an early scrimmage against another team, I was playing fullback and was surprised to hear the QB call a handoff to me. However, on snap, I ran to the QB's left only to realize the play had been called to the right: I had reversed the number scheme. QB had turned to the right, and I had gone left.

    The Pharm Life panel this week commemorates that failure, depicting the second that the fullback realizes his fuckup, grabbing his head in shame. I was never again offered the opportunity to run the ball.

    I went left, and things had not gone right. Nothing went right. I am left handed. I don't set things right; my life is about taking inventory of what's left. Life has been like this, generally.

    Not ambitious, fast, or talented, I never receive promotions, and rarely am awarded accolades. I am overlooked when congratulations are handed out. I can't recall ever receiving a raise, or even a cost-of-living bump, but have certainly suffered one pay cut after another, and have spent my career leaping from one sinking ship to another. I have little to show for my time on earth.

    Recently, I found myself in a position of advocacy as a member of a union negotiating team, trying to retain benefits and jobs in a situation that offers practically no possibility for either. As I illustrated my group's confusion around our process, a serious problem considering the stakes, I was reminded that 'we are all doing our best' and 'no system is perfect.' This is not adequate for me, and I end up feeling like a crank. Which feels gross.

    And so: imperfect systems, vagaries become action verbs, miscommunication in the huddle leading to disastrous results on the field. The Magritte pipe reminds me that nothing is as it is perceived. The symbols of language morph and melt, and I am left with my heads in my hands having flubbed the hand-off.

    Guy holds a computer punch card, the proper way to catalogue humans in a binary world.



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