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THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY: A THREE ACT PLAY

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IN THE WORDS OF THE MEN WHO LIVED IT

THE TACKLER

Honestly, what the heck am I supposed to do? It’s not like he’s coming at me in the open field and I’m saying, "huh, what if I just torpedo myself into his groin?" Half his body’s above me and out of reach, and if, somehow, I decide in the split second I have to make this tackle to hit him in the thighs, there’s a good chance I miss altogether.

You gonna give me a trophy for that? We awarding All-American spots based on missed tackles due to genital consideration? Penis-dodging some sort of new Combine event I’m unaware of?

I’m taking on a blocker AND the ball carrier, and that means somebody else missed an assignment. Nobody mentions that part. It’s always about my helmet and his dick. And I’m sick of it. When you put on the pads in this conference, you know you’re gonna get hit. Might shred your knee. Might break a finger. Might get your testicles smushed. Nobody wants it to happen, but we accept that it’s the cost of doing business.

Oh, and my neck’s fine. Not that you asked, asshole.

THE TACKLEE

Dearest Sara,

News from the front indicates we may run the ball soon again. Lest I run out of time to send one last missive, I feel compelled to set these words down in haste, so that it might fly into your door and carry my words to your heart once more before the final tackle.

I have no doubts about the justness of our fight here. We owe a firm effort to those who played in these colors before us, and to those scamps, rapscallions, and soused simpaticos to the old school ties who watch the battle lovingly from afar. We shall earn our first ladle of water in months in the next quarter from our coaches. I feel it in my bones.

Sara, my love for you has no sideline, and no endzone. It follows no rulebook the world may flag. And yet my love of team keeps me here, between these chalk lines, bound to these men with the taut twine of brotherhood.

Know that the happiest days of my life, the breaths least wasted in worry, the caresses of your cheek upon mine--these, Sara, bid me home and away from this contested grasspatch with the pull of a holding lineman. If I should expire off tackle, or meet the eternal footman on a chop block, know this Sara: know that I shall find you in the gentle wave of the wildflowers across the prairie, or in the wave of the flags atop a stadium you know I so dearly loved.

P.S. The only thing I couldn't stand happening would be a death by helmet to the dick. I want this very clear: That is my worst fear, and has been since I was a child: death by my dick exploding via a fierce impact with a football helmet. ESPECIALLY if I was in mid-air. That'd be the worst. UGH. Just thinking about it makes my dick hurt. I gotta run a play now.

THE GUY WHIFFING ON HIS BLOCK, CAUGHT IN A LOOP OF HISTORY HE IS DOOMED TO EXPERIENCE FOREVER

I have run this play thousands upon thousands of times; I cannot remember running anything else. And I have tried everything to change the outcome; blocking from different angles, trying to distract the defender, committing flagrant penalties. In one instance, I even took off my own helmet and swung it at Daryl's dick myself, hoping that would change the course of events and prove that I was not prisoner to this destiny.

It changed nothing. And it'll change nothing tomorrow, which is today, which is also yesterday. I'm doomed to miss and hear Daryl get hit in the dick for all eternity. That awful sound; the tears; and then, walking back to the locker room, the thoughts coursing through my mind like ungrounded voltage through a drunk electrician. Always the same nightmare, and alwaaa--

OH SHIT CHICK-FIL-A POSTGAAAAAAAAAAME---

[This SEC championship trophy drama brought to you by the official chicken sandwich of the SEC Championship Game, Chick-Fil-A.]