Recovery run today, I was thinking about football.
As mentioned in earlier posts, JPD is a Bears fan. In the sixties, Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers were plying their trade for the Monsters of the Midway. These players continue to inspire all young football players and young bear fans alike. When we moved to Mt. Prospect it did not take JPD long to sign us up for the Mt. Prospect Midget Football Association. Even in its acronym, the MPMFA, this league was grandiose. When JPD signed us all up for football, he must have stepped into the wrong line. While he might have thought he was in the line for helmets, he was actually in the line to sign up as a coach. That might have been why that line was so short. However it happened, JPD signed up to coach the Fighting Illini. This team was comprised of second and third graders, ages 7-8. Grumpy, the local butcher and another coach most believed had flown from another planet were the three coaches of the Illini. JPD was “all-in” on his duties and even got off of work a little early so he could coach our practice. As kids we were thrilled to don the football gear and run around with a football until we got to the first practice. I look back on this now and there would be three levels of training: Special Forces Training, Gurkha Warrior Training and the hardest of all, Fighting Illini football training. We ran, we hit and we barely survived coaching craziness. Up Folger’s hill, run around the Olympic size swimming pool. I was lucky enough to play middle-linebacker and don the precious number 51 (Dick Butkus was an All-American for the Illini too). One problem persisted, even though I was in the best shape of my short life, I did not like to hit people nor did I like to get hit by other people. This is like saying you want to be a doctor, but you don’t like to be around sick people. I think I drove the coaches crazy, but no matter, JPD was my biggest fan. I separated dad from the other coaches because his main concern was fun. Was I having a good time? As long as JPD was around, I was having a good time.
Another sunrise at Harper Lake. Favorite song today: Fly Me To the Moon performed by Frank Sinatra (Happy 100th Birthday!).