Touch Football and a Haircut!


Bringing a unique touch to the sport

Chris Erskine December 16, 2009

Too Funny!!!!!

Touch FB

Some members of the writer’s weekend football league, in which pass patterns tend to resemble perp walks and a player was once cut for being too good. And yet, it’s still wonderful.  (The writer is second from the right, front row!).

Starting today, I’ll be taking an indefinite leave of absence from my marriage to work on touch football. I hope to take some time to get my priorities in order. My weekend touch football teammates are like family to me — dysfunctional, psychotic, forgetful.
Besides, athletes like these come along only every few minutes.
See, touch football isn’t a sport, it’s a vice — or at least a very regrettable habit. It’s like buying lottery tickets with the mortgage money or smoking cigars while delivering babies.
Imagine "Swan Lake" staged by circus livestock. That’s us warming up. Our pass patterns look like perp walks. It’s considered a successful play when we don’t all torque an ankle.
"Dear Commish," went an e-mail last week.
"Threw out my back yesterday bringing in the Christmas tree, hanging lights, climbing up and down the ladder, or some combination of the three.
"Despite a thorough regimen of red wine and Scotch last night, I’m in no shape for football.
"Will have to see you next week."

You get the idea. You think Sean Payton has to deal with last-minute stuff like that? Well, not as much as me. I am commissioner of what might be the worst (though wonderful) touch football league in America.
We once cut a player because he was too good. No kidding, the guy had played some college ball or something — maybe he could merely walk without wheezing — and he proved too intense. Get your playbook, pal. See you later.

Another guy played at Harvard. Gone. Another was team captain at Colgate. History. When aged players from elite Eastern schools are too good, you know you’ve set the bar pretty low.
Like many weekend leagues, ours is based on a sense of desperation and troubled, tortured pasts. In fact, I can tell on the first play which players had bad weeks with their bookies.
Then there’s the "two-hand touch" itself. In our league, it’s just assumed that you tag the opposing player on the shoulders or — while somersaulting spastically — down around his knobby knees. The last thing you ever want to do is tag him in the stomach area, in the meaty muscle-goo of middle age.
I’ll confess that at times, when I can’t quite reach the opposing player, I’ve been known to just tag myself and lie.
"Got you!" I say.
"No way!"
"I heard it," a teammate says.
"See, he heard it," I say. "Second down right here."

Honesty has its place, but it’s not here. As a league of mostly lawyers and writer types, we seem to thrive on gamesmanship and controversy. It doesn’t help that the rules are a mash of pro, college and middle school. A couple of the guys actually think they are playing lacrosse. But since we’re usually desperate for players, we don’t ever tell them.
Before a recent game, two players — Goldfingers and Commie, almost all players have nicknames — agreed that some of us have gotten too old for this.

"It’s stupid," Commie said.
"Yeah, just stupid," agreed Goldfingers.
"But it’s a good stupid," said Commie.
The consensus among the older players is that running full out is an immoral act. So when we have more than five players a side we usually play a zone, sometimes a "cover 2" — though most of us have only a fuzzy understanding of what a "cover 2" is. There are some concepts in life — the electoral college or minority equity stakes — where a fuzzy understanding works just fine.
Admittedly, I have a slight advantage over other older players. Having eaten bacon all my life, much of the gristle has settled into my knees, making me flexible and immune to serious joint damage. Doctors say I might be half pork.
And here’s the scouting report on another timeless player, Bob, also in his 50s:
* He’s a bleeder.
* Does not move well to his left.
* Does not move well to his right.
* Questionable hands — fingers like the long mucousy tentacles of a jellyfish.
* Sneezes a lot.
* Might be missing a foot.
Then there’s Eisen. In 10 years, I’ve never seen Eisen’s feet actually leave the ground. He runs like a second-grader rubbing his feet across the carpet to make sparks.
Eisen famously broke his collarbone several years ago, when some big lug fell on him like a ginormous redwood.
"Personal foul, foreplay!" one wise guy yelled, maybe me.
Then we realized that Eisen was actually hurt, holding his shoulder like a broken sparrow. Several guys offered to drive him to the emergency room, but Eisen refused.
"If you can’t drive yourself to the ER," went his thinking, "then you don’t belong in this league."
Of course, that’s just stupid.
But, you know, it’s a really good stupid.

HAHAHA!!!  I’d fit right in!!!


Yesterday I got a haircut (Every barber here is Vietnamese) and in the chair next to mine was a big Mexican guy (Most customers at this shop are).  He had just had his head shaved.  I just have the barber use a #1 clipper all over my head because when my hair grows back, I look like Dagwood Bumstead!!  Anyway, this Mexican guy decided to have his eyebrows plucked and then waxed!!  He must have had a BIG date!!  My jaw dropped and the female barber who was working on him just giggled and rolled her eyes.  I was fascinated!!!  The plucking didn’t seem too bad…. he just twitched a little, but when she applied the sticky stuff, the plastic (??) strip and then ripped, he about came out of the chair!!  I suppressed my snort!!  Surprisingly, he still had eyebrows when he left.  Small and skinny, but still there.

I wish I had had a video camera!!!

Hump Day today, so the weekend is close!!  Have a good one!!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Touch Football and a Haircut!

  1. Joe says:

    Dagwood Bumstead? LOL! I think I about choked when I read that! I can’t quite imagine having my eyebrows plucked and waxed…yikes! I wish you would have had a video camera on hand too!

  2. GreatGranny says:

    I couldn’t have eyebrows waxed or plucked. I wonder if he’ll do it again…lol

  3. Dana says:

    Why am I not seeing your posts? Is it hit and miss or is it they just aren’t showing up? Geesh! Argh waxed eyebrows! I’ve never done that it sounds painful! He probably saw it being done with a woman and she just sits there hahaha thought it would be a breeze! That’ll teach him!

  4. Sanjana says:

    hey youguess what Im already here……………….had a wonderful week in Florida……….on my way to Ohio today………….tried calling you a couple of times…………..but keep getting the same message that says that this user doesnt have the voice mail set up. so well…………..ill email you my no. so maybe you could call………………… of my friends from South Cal flew all the way to Miami to meet me …………that was awesome……………….told her i had a friend in Orange country……………….

  5. Sue says:

    Geriatric football! I love it! Aww, no eyebrow trimming for you??? I had a hairdresser tell me, I’d look "darling" with my brows trimmed up—I said, no thank you. It’s just not on my high priority list these days. If you’d had one of those Flip video cameras, you could have taped that Mexican having that done and posted it to YouTube—it would have been a hit!!!

  6. Stephen Craig says:

    Bob, Thank you for visiting the Painting Studio and for your comments. I enjoyed the touch football story and can relate a bit to the comradrie and mirth. While living at the ranch as we fondly called the old farm property in Barrington Illinois each spring would set up a rather large 9 hole chip and putt golf course. A friend managed a near by country club so he supplied real flags and the course was complete with ponds, sand traps wooded areas and such. The game would begin conventional enough then turn into golfing for livestock as we still had sheep and some old carnival horses to keep the lawns trimmed. Then after some refreshments and "golf helper" we would start golfing for buddies. Ouch! Needless to say the area was not a safe place for a squad car to patrol as we would then golf for the black and white. Very funny to see grown men laughing and running into the woods. Sanjana called me last night and asked me to email you a request for you to call or email her but I see she has already contacted you. Have a sister in Colombus Ohio but do not know if I will be up to traveling there for Christmas. Do hope that Sanjana may be able to visit Peoria while in the USA. As ever be well

  7. Shelly says:

    Hello Stranger!! Just had some down time here in your sunny state of CA. Visiting my brother here. It’s no wonder the boy never wants to go home to cold Michigan! Hope you are doing well. Take care luv bug and Have a Very Merry Christmas!!! xoxoxox Tee hee ha ha ha (just to tide ya over!) xoxoxox

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s