Watching the New York Jets lose in overtime yesterday to the Raiders I thought back to the days of playing two-hand touch football.
In the past, I have written about Farrell’s football – we can all agree that those teams and games against McBears down Farragut Road were legendary. The Saturday afternoon practices down P.S. 154 looked tougher than the actual games. (Chime in Jack and Corrado).
Intramural football at Holy Name was very popular too.
But what about playing in the streets?
4 on 4, 5 on 5, heck, even 2 on 2 with the official quarterback.
Do kids still play touch football in the street?
Fuller Place, the boys and girls schoolyard, 9th avenue, 16th street, Windsor Place…we played everywhere!
I carry a football with me in the backseat of my Honda Accord. When I see kids standing around doing nothing, I pull out the pigskin and toss it to them. I even bring it to basketball practice on occasion and have the guys run routes.
Last week Mary, Taylor and I went to a huge supermarket in our town for some grocery shopping and I brought the football along.
As we were going from aisle to aisle, Taylor and I had a catch.
“Go deep!” I told her as she started running to the frozen pizza aisle and turned around. A stock person smiled.
I proceeded to hit her with a bullet – great catch! I felt like Terry Bradshaw hitting Lynn Swann.
We received some funny looks from shoppers and employees; but I was like, ‘screw ’em’!
They had a Wii demonstration in the electronics section so naturally Taylor wanted to join in on the fun. She tossed me the ball and walked to where the crowd had gathered. I noticed this kid around Taylor’s age holding onto his mother’s cart about 4 aisles away – they were slowly approaching. Earlier, he had noticed Taylor and I having a catch as we walked in the store and was visibly intrigued.
Just like a NFL QB and Wide Receiver on Sunday, all it took was eye contact; I cocked my arm back in his direction and he stepped away from his mom’s cart and I hit him with a perfect spiral – right past a curmudgeon carrying a loaf of bread under his arm.
“Hey, watch it with that”, the guy said.
“Relax pops, we’re just having fun.” I replied as I launched a floater over his bald dome.
The kid and I continued our catch back and forth as his mother price checked some cans of tuna fish.
Taylor was a few feet away enjoying the wii, totally oblivious of our new friend.
Remember being out with your friends playing two-hand touch? Line of scrimmage (you would spit on the ground, rub a line with your sneaker to indicate where the ball should be marked) One guy (or girl) would count, “one-one thousand, two-one thousand…”.
At the sound of “hut” receivers would run out. One would go behind a car, one would go deep, the other would run a button hook. On defense you would cover your assigned man and go for the interception, the rusher would chase after the QB.
I miss the days of two-hand touch!