After many weeks toiling our conditioning drills, countless hours in practice where I wanted to die on the ground from heat exhaustion due to the brutal August sunshine and smog in the San Gabriel Valley, we finally rolled into our first home game. I was forced to play on the Varsity as a warm body holding the tackling dummies for the first and second stringers. I weighed too much so they wouldn't let me hurt the smaller guys.
But then, it was Friday night and we were playing Arcadia. They were bigger, stronger and a powerhouse offense.
My job that night was not to get stepped on and to stay out of the way of the guys that were playing. Yet, I had butterflies in my gut and did a fine job of worrying for our Team. So,. I decided that I would break the paper that read Go Titans. Why? Well, I had seen so many games started with the team running on the field as a cattle stampede. So, there I ran and almost collided with a cheerleader that was "peeking" for her boyfriend. (Oh bother!)
Actually there were about 4 or 5 of us rookies that did the destruction of the sign. As I was slower than most guys, about 4 or more guys got ahead of me. Still, the paper was still up on the sides and I grabbed a piece for my high school scrap book.
My evening ended with me standing on the sidelines about 20 yards away. Great vantage point. I'd play the following 2 years. Now that little memory simply warms my heart when I think about it. Funny enough, I remember that moment still as the "beginning of the football season."