Here's something I wrote in 2000. It is taken from a scrapbook I created later of my youngest son, Danny, and "gave" to him for his 16th birthday in mid-decade. (I was the only one in attendance at this pizza, cake and soda party at my house, although it was my year for him to be with me on his birthday.) By then it had already been two years since I had last seen him. The scrapbook resides in a desk in his room in my house, and has a dedication on its title page from a Mary Chapin Carpenter song. "Caught up in our little lives, there's not a lot left over." Danny has never seen any of this.
McLean Bowl vs. Southwest at McLean High School on Saturday, November 4, 2000.
Fullback Danny scored the first TD of the game on a 6-yard run up the middle in the first half. He received the handoff on the PAT try but was tackled at the half-yard line. Then SW scored to go up 7-6 at the end of the half.
In the 3d period, Danny went off right tackle, burst past the line, ran into their backfield, shook off a diving LB, outjuked a DB then outran everyone for a 50 yard TD run. He took it in on the PAT to make it 13-7.
In the 4th quarter, SW started moving the ball with a series of sweeps. On 1st and 10 at the 20, the HB swept around right end and headed for the corner TD marker. Right linebacker Danny came from the other side of the field and after a long run, lowered his shoulder and knocked the ballcarrier out of bounds at the one. McLean held for 3 downs but SW scored on 4th and goal on a burst up the middle and scored the PAT for a 14-13 win.
Danny's run was nice (good balance, and he chose a good angle to the goal line to outrun every pursuer to the end zone), but his defensive stop at the one-yard line was sterling, and was the play he made that almost won the game for his team, not the runs.
Danny was chosen game MVP.
This is the coach's eye in me. I coached Danny for four years in recreational soccer and was his club manager for another year in travel soccer.
At the subsequent custody trial during my divorce, I was accused of belittling Danny's individual accomplishments. This pre-teen reported to "their" charlatan therapist (I think with a little coaching) that I "crushed his spirit in sports," I guess by loving observations like this one which emphasized his terrific unheralded defensive play while only noting his splashy 50-yard run. As the late Kurt Vonnegut said, So it goes.
When Danny was born, Kokomo, the Beach Boys' song about the easy life in the Islands, was current and always on the air. Whenever I hear it, or see the movie Cocktail starring Tom Cruise which featured it, I think of Danny. Hi Danny, I hope you're doing well as you attend college in Richmond.
You'll be happy to know that I am done updating my Profile. See you next year on it!
We'll perfect our chemistry.