From the 2-19-10 issue of Hoboken’s Progress:
If you build it, they will come.
If you congregate on a field, they will show up.
And if you sign up for a casual touch football league, they will not only sign up on the roster, but they will be sure to throw their water bottles at the bench and screech at their teammates, while the onlookers try not to laugh too hard.
Oh, do not be fooled. I was definitely a spectator at this game. I was the one trying not to laugh too loudly at the disgruntled quarterback. Just as much of a guarantee as the previous statements, if you place a ridiculously aggressive player in a game meant for leisure, people will laugh at him.
Perhaps there’s a bit of Murphy’s Law at play, but it is always inevitable: there will always be at least someone who takes a game too seriously.
In this instance, it was during a 2 o’clock touch football game on the Hoboken High School field. I was out with the boyfriend cheering on the roommies. Although we were failing to keep warm in the 20-degree weather, this guy was on fire.
With four games in play on the field at the same time, this guy somehow managed to steal the entire show. At first, he started to get a little loud during a team huddle. Something about him being the quarterback and that no one should call his name. I don’t know all the rules about football, but this seemed a little unnecessary. I wasn’t the only one. Huddled together, I heard the boyfriend trying to muffle a laugh. We looked at each other and immediately both thought—game on. Sorry to my roommates, but this was the game to watch.
We observed subtly, steadying our heads to face slightly left while we still stood in front of my roommates’ game. Though this posed as was quite the challenge given the wind that afternoon, our interest was peaked, and it was sort of impossible not to pay attention to the “quarterback.”
And we were not disappointed. In the midst of some exaggerated arm movements, he not only continued to yell comments, such as, “It only takes one foot! One foot!” after an opposing player made a touchdown, but he also got so worked up that he threw his water bottle at the bench on the sidelines, so hard that water flew out everywhere, even back at him. It even got his fanny pack wet. (OK, maybe it wasn’t a fanny pack, but he definitely had something strapped around his waist, and for entertainment purposes, it may as well have been a fanny pack).
Whether or not this is really Murphy’s Law—that for every one casual game, there will be at least one insanely intense player that may ruin the experience for someone—regardless, for the spectators, people like that “quarterback” are pure gold. I will surely keep my eyes peeled for him at future games, though my ears will probably find him first.