How about some backyard football?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2000

Sports Editor

Every Friday afternoon after school, our favorite thing was to head over to our friend Chet’s house for a game of backyard football. The Friday game was a warmup to the Saturday game, which would be played on the local high school football field with a lot more kids. Friday’s affair just consisted of eight or nine players.

Chet’s backyard was an accident waiting to happen. It was maybe a good 20-yards in length. In one end zone there was a basketball goal, a big bush, and (God help you if you fall) a concrete drive way. Chet’s father usually parked his big fiberglass boat back there as well.

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Ever run a fade route into fiberglass? Not a good idea.

The other "endzone" wasn’t much better. Between what we designated as the goaline, (the corner of Chet’s house), and a chain link fence, which separated Chet’s yard from his grandparents, there were maybe six or seven feet for you to try to run and catch a pass. Which is okay for one person maybe, but just try to get open with five or six people back there. And tall people really had to be wary, because a clothesline that ran lengthwise, right smack dab in the middle.

But the thing I liked most about going toward that side of the yard, was the barbecue pit directly in front of the right side of the end zone. It was big, dirty red and short and it was the best blocker on the field. I caught plenty of touchdowns running people into that barbecue pit.

The backyard was bordered lengthwise by the house and on the other side by a flower garden. There were no flowers in the flower garden, but Chet’s mom still got upset if you ran through it. Behind the garden was a white, aluminum fence. The surface of the fence was

powdery white and it rubbed off on your hands if you touched it, or on your clothes if it touched you.

But we never got that close to the fence, because the garden was out of bounds.

It’s amazing to think of it now, but I had some of my best times as a teenager in that backyard.

We also would get together for a game of roundball once basketball season rolled around.

Now the basketball court, that was a mess.

But I’ll tell you about it some other time.