slammed the playbook into the locker. The reverberation couldn't be
any louder if the team were inside the oversized bass drum used by
the university's marching band. Coach paced back and forth breathing
heavily and bellowing like a drill sergeant. "You're playing
like a bunch of girls! My grandmother could beat you guys."
It was halftime, and
we were down 17-3. Name a category: fumbles, interceptions, dropped
passes, missed tackles; we had them all.
Coach continued, "These
guys are the bottom of the conference, and you're making them look
like Super Bowl Champs. What kind of chumps are you? You guys know
what this means!"
We did. Coach told us
if we didn't get our act together, we'd be spanked. Coach was a
strict disciplinarian. No infraction went unpunished. Training was
down! Over my lap, NOW! Grayson, you're next. After him Thomas
." Coach bellowed off the "batting order."
The wide receiver complied
and coach paddled his butt swiftly. "I ain't got time to do
this properly, but I only have 15 minutes."
Robinson was down and
up in a matter of seconds. Grayson, defensive guard, nearly eclipsed
the coach's smaller frame as he took his turn for spanking. It looked
almost comical from my viewpoint. Here was this white arm waving
out from behind a mountain of black flesh, and this seemly tiny
hand striking an area that seemed to be as large and round as the
aforementioned bass drum. In spite of his dark skin color, I could
still see handprints on the lineman's butt.
One by one, my teammates
lined up to receive their spankings from the coach. Each spanking
lasted about a minute, but coach's intensity made up for the lack
of time. It was an object lesson for the rest of us.
"I didn't get to
get to everybody who deserved it. Maybe next time I'll invite the
cheerleaders in here to give me a hand." We met this threat
with silence. Coach never bluffed.
"OK, it's time to
get back out there. We can pull this one out. Any questions?"
Her scowl changed to a grin.
"No, Coach Christine."
we chanted in unison.