I don’t know why, but some of the craziest things happen to me ( I think of it as a unique gift, that the Lord allows me to experience so I can laugh at myself and bring a smile to others). I have always enjoyed the game of football. I played football in L.A. (not Los Angeles, but Lower Asheville in North Carolina). I was on the very first Hendersonville Jr. High Football Team. We were a work in progress. Our biggest game of that season was at the football Stadium in Asheville. We were driving for a touch down, and I was an lineman, my job was to block. As I went forward, my shoe got stuck in a water drain and I couldn’t move much less block. My friend Charlie had the football and tried to run behind me,the other team however tried to run through me to tackle Charlie. I was stuck in the middle and nowhere to go, but somehow Charlie ran around me and scored the touchdown. After the score the referee tried to get my shoe out of the drain but it wouldn’t move. The referee told me to leave the field and get it later. As I came limping off the field, the people in the stands thought I was injured. Even the cheerleaders starting cheering for me..”Jerry, Jerry, He’s our man, if he can’t do it , nobody can…” Even my coaches were surprised ( although I don’t think that was the only emotion that felt about me at the time) especially when I told them what had actually happened to me. After the game, I went back out of the field and with some help, retrieved my shoe. Many years later while attending a college football game, I took a break to get some chicken wings. After visiting the concession stand, I started back with my basket of chicken into the stadium. At the same time, there were a lot of people rushing toward the field to see an exciting interception and touchdown. In the chaos of the moment, some excited fan shoved my arm up (I guess to signal touchdown like a referee). Well, you guessed it…My chicken wings went airborne up into the seats above me..never to be seen again! I went back and got more chicken wings and took them back to share with my friend Morris. Morris asked me what took me so long? I told him that the first order of chicken wings had flown away…
I went to another football game trying to find an extra ticket. At that particular stadium, it was illegal to “scalp” tickets, I saw this man was trying to sell the tickets for a much higher price. I walked up and told him it was illegal to do so. He ask me what he should do and I told him, he could sale the ticket to me at face value, which he did. As I walked away, another man who had evidently been trying to buy the same ticket unsuccessfully, approached me asked me…”Who are you? You aren’t from around here are you? Are you a hustler from Atlanta???”… I had a similar experience a few years later at the same stadium but I really can’t repeat what was said afterwards.
I always wanted to attend a Bowl Game. Some friends and I traveled to Atlanta to see the Tennessee Vols play Maryland in the Peach Bowl. We parked on the other side of a park near the stadium. After the game was over, we reentered the park to get to our car. As we got the the other side of the park we discovered the gate was locked, so we decided to save some time and just climb the fence. I was the last one over and got stuck on top of the fence. My friends were laughing so hard that couldn’t help me. I suspect they had never seen a bear or a big man stuck on top of a fence before that night! And all I could do was laugh too… but eventually I flopped on over the fence but my landing didn’t go very gracefully.
As you can tell, I need extra grace wherever I go…even football games.