American football is such a wonderful game to play. Everything happens in fifteen, ten, sometimes five or even three-second stretches. It takes a singular mind to coach such a game.

Or, as my mother puts it, the mind of someone who hasn't really emotionally pulled themself past around sixth grade.

Take my high school football coach. He truly is a spectacular personality. At random he will squirt truly inspirational sayings of advice, reprimand and threat.

For example: God dammit, you're a bunch of fucking hamburgers!

Or: I swear if you guys don't focus the last thing you'll see is my ass up your asses! FOCUS!

Alternately: You all think you're some kind of stars, don't you - well you're not, if you don't start playing I'll put my ass so far up your ass they won't find it for a week

Up-downs are a favorite threat, as are push-ups. If you don't show up to practice on time: "50 up-downs, you'd better start doing them now so you're not hanging around after practice." If we don't "focus" enough for his liking, which seems to occur at fairly random times regardless of how hard the group that's going is working: "God dammit if you don't get on the ball you'll all be doing up-downs for 45 minutes straight." If you didn't turn in a progress report on time to prove that you have the right grades to play: "200 up-downs!"

Yeah, coach. I'll do 200 updowns for not filling out a sheet of paper. You watch.

Rarely, but still often enough to count, his words turn from threat to praise. For example:

COACH:You're doing real good, guys. I should give you all cheese nappers.

PLAYER: You mean Cheetos, coach?

COACH: ... All right, back to work guys, lets go.

Successful teams must posess an extreme sense of urgency on the field. At least, that's what my coach thinks. About every ten seconds: "Hurry up." We'll be standing there, waiting for another coach to finish talking to a player, and here: "Hurry up." Then, when nothing happens, a staccato "Hurry UP!" We'll be stretching, a routine the coach has acknowledged is a good way to avoid pulling muscles. "C'mon guys, hurry up." However, as I attend a Catholic school, the coach has decided that he must also teach politeness. Hence: "Hurry up please. Hurry UP!"

Coaches know a lot about sports medicine, they really do. More than just stretching, really. For example, I was worried about extreme soreness in my knees after one practice that left me unable to walk right for a little while (my first time with near-exhaustion, nothing actually serious - I'd be in it deep if it was, if I had to follow coach's advice, as you'll see here).

ME: So coach, what should I do?

COACH: What did you have for breakfast that morning?

ME: Uh ... cereal, coach.

COACH: For lunch?

ME: Roast beef sandwich. (Thinking: Cheese nappers, coach. Cheese nappers.)

COACH: How much water did you drink?

ME: Three or four bottles' worth. (Thinking: You need a lot to wash down the cheese nappers, coach.)

COACH: Drink more water.

Yeah, coach. Drink more water. That'll help muscle and ligament soreness.

In all fairness, the coach is a very considerate guy, and tries to push us to succeed. He keeps us focused during practice and teaches us the intricacies of the great game of American football. If we don't do it right, sometimes he really does make us do up-downs. I haven't seen the cheese-nappers yet, though, and thankfully he hasn't had to stick his ass up anyone else's ass either.

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