In my book EMOTIONS: Not Your Mama’s ABC’s, under each letter of the alphabet I include a short preface to the short stories. Believe me when I say it is a new genre focused on maximum emotional impact with an economy of words. You can check it out on my website marksplayhouse.com. Please let me know what you think.
Under the letter Z, I preface the short-short story with:
Zealous will bring my first book to its sunset. The gladiator sport of football is the setting. Football coaches all have different ways of motivating their players through good and bad performances on the gridiron. Halftime is an example.
Notre Dame’s legendary coach Knute Rockne once left his team sitting alone in the locker room after trailing in the first half. At the very last second before they had to exit the locker room and head to the tunnel, Rockne burst through the door and said in a very high-pitched voice “Let’s go girls!”
The team emerged seeing red and ultimately triumphed.
The word zealot, however, has developed into a bit of a dichotomy. To perform with zeal is a highly desired trait but taking on the role of zealot now is colored with such terms as religious, militant, war-like, and fanatic. Now if you are going to include groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, you must surely include the most radical, dangerous, unmovably single-focused group of them all (and I’m not talking about Republicans).
I’m talking about SEC football fans.
Just kidding. Great football factory, er, conference that seems to own the national championship or get damn close every single year. You just can’t argue with that type of success. Wow. If you like football you might get a kick out of the story under “Z” titled Halftime.
Today is Championship Sunday as the best teams in both conferences of the NFL square off to see who goes to the Super Bowl. Personally, I will be OK if either Tom Brady and the Buccaneers or Aaron Rodgers and the Packers win. I respect excellence in anything and those 2 quarterbacks have set the bar. It’s going to be hard to unseat the champion Kansas City Chiefs with The Kid and his game, but Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen will definitely show up. Both games should be awesome. Like Clubber Lang, I predict pain.
My big brothers’ home football games for Yamato High School in Japan were played directly across the street from a large crematorium. I kid you not. During games, you could see the smoke from burning bodies as ash billowing from the long, soot-covered chimney dropped steadily and lazily from the sky. Everyone in the bleachers would be covered with a thin layer of ash and I remember that hauntingly sweet smell to this very day. Karen is constantly busting my chops for misplacing (losing) things, but some things you just don’t forget.