Rest Day Read (SR-65)
Cold Enough To Start Your Leg On Fire
by Mike Hays
Back in my football coaching days, we had a group of kids who were, to put it mildly, a bit deviant. One mid-season Monday when we show up for JV game/varsity practice, one of these young men has an injury and is not able to participate. He has a fairly severe burn that ran just below his knee all the way down to the high ankle. When asked how this happened, the young man said he was jumping over a camp fire the past weekend. He guessed he just did not jump far enough. It was a nasty burn. He said he did not go to the hospital because his dad’s girlfriend was a nurse. She wrapped it up and would take care of it. Needless to say, he missed some action, but came back no worse for wear a couple weeks later.
Flash forward to the last week of the season. We have practice and it is friggin cold, with a north wind blowing about 40+ MPH. Probably the coldest practice we ever had. Colder than the 2002 practice where we had the entire sidelines of 20 or so substitute players hunkered down in an incrementally lower squat position on the south side of a 6’2″ 275 lb. lineman. (Dang that was funny, wish I had a picture of that.). Well, the kids are complaining about the cold. Over and over and over complaining. I just keep telling them it is not even cold yet. Burnt-leg boy keeps saying he’s not cold at all. Then it starts drizzling! Misery squared!
Burnt leg boy finally lets go, “!@#$, Coach! How !@#$-ing cold is it out here?”
In one of my greatest stupid-funny lines ever, I answer, “Son, I believe it’s cold enough to start your leg on fire.”