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Glory Days
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Glory Days
A short story about a father who loks back to his childhood years of football and now he is watching those days through his son.
[862 words]
Kelley Sullivan
I am 20 years old currently at Suny Cortland. I am an elementary education major with a minor in English. On my free time I enjoy poem writing.
[December 2002]
Glory Days
Kelley Sullivan

I ran through my house, throwing my backpack down and yelling hi to my mom in the kitchen. That was the usual as I made it to my room. Without even taking a second to breathe I threw on my gold sweatpants with the grass stains on the knees and the white shoelace that held my pants up. Then went my shoulder pads. Just foam, they worked. Over the pads was an oversized t-shirt one sleeve hanging off and torn. On the back was my favorite football player number, twenty-eight. After I was dressed I slipped on my black, worn out sneakers. Coming from the backyard I could hear through the window yelling as teams formed. Then Peter Stanford, my best friend, shouted, "Donít forget the ball, Kevin!" I grabbed the ball in one hand and my helmet in the other. You can barely see the black helmet any more because of all the tape holding it together.

I flew down the stairs, through the kitchen and out the door. Following me was a stench. My clothes havenít been washed in weeks. I figured the dirtier the uniform, the better the athlete.

The game got started. We played all night until the sun went down. It happened every night after school. There wasnít a day that went by that we didnít play football.

I was making my way inside as Peter hollered, "Great game today! We kicked some butt. I canít wait until we are in the NFL, scoring touchdowns like we do now. I just smiled and gave a short laugh. Peter and I have been best friends ever since he moved next door to me. He has such high expectations for us - football in high school, football in college and pro football. Noticed I said "us." We come as a package. I hope he is right.

The backyard started to grow grass when the games stopped. My friends and I were in high school now. We had bigger and better things to do like playing on a real field with an audience. Most of us still play together. We have been through it all. Our team practiced every day after school. No more after school football games in the backyard. This was more serious and for real.

I wouldnít call my high school football team great or even good. We were pretty bad but we loved the game. Each game our team would learn something that would help us out the next time. Our team was actually slowly getting better and better. No one cared because our record was 0 and 9.

This was the final game. It was the last time we would step foot onto the field. Our good luck prayer in the locker room was filled with tears. Excitement and anxiety ran through my blood. The stands were filled with crazy fans that never let the team down. Loss after loss, they were always there for support. Sometimes I wondered why they came? We havenít won a game since 1966. Maybe they were here for the cheerleaders. Whatever it was we always had a huge crowd.

Walking out onto the field Peter gave me a hard tap on the shoulder. "This is it buddy. Lets go out with a bang. Give them all you got. Iíll be waiting for you in the end zone." Just like old times," he said

Play after play. The score was getting closer and closer. Adrenaline was rushing through our bodies and sweat pouring down our faces. The clock was ticking. Fifteen seconds remaining. As the quarterback I laid out the play for the team. Peter was the wide receiver. He would be waiting for the ball in the end zone if all goes well. The pressure was on. "Blue 84! Down! Set! Go!" Having all control the ball flew smoothly through the sky. I couldnít see if Peter caught the ball or not because the other team bombarded him like a bunch of animals. I heard the loud cheers and excitement. "We won! We won!"

Silence suddenly struck the stadium. What happened? The noise made its way to the opposing side. Both teams separated to their sides leaving Peter in the middle of the end zone. His knees pulled up to his chest and his head down in shame. Running through my mind over and over like the spinning of a washing machine was he missed the catch, he missed the catch. The rest of the team walked silently to the locker room. I sat beside Peter. I didnít say anything and either did he. We both knew it was over. I turned to him, Florida State College here we come!

Staring blankly out the window I come to my senses. I turn my head quickly; I smell the same stench that my mother used to smell. Only this time it wasnít me. It was my son, Tommy, rushing by me. He had my old uniform on. It was game time. I watch him and his friends play just like we used to. The phone interrupts me. "Hey, Coach! Itís Coach Stanford. Is Tommy ready for our big game tomorrow?"



" This is pretty good. It's a little hard to follow and the game action needed to be more descriptive, but it's still a good first story. " -- Steven T.


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© 2002 Kelley Sullivan
December 2002

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