Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sweet revenge is mine

I had my Friday night lights moment without the lights.

I got a measure of revenge.

On Friday, September 3, I returned to the Dexter High School football field in Maine for the first time in 40 years – for the first time since I was the starting quarterback for the Foxcroft Academy Ponies against the Dexter Tigers, our arch rivals, in a game we lost 58-0.

That’s right, 58-0. Hammer vs. Nail.

How could I not forget that game? The Dexter Tigers were dedicating a brand new scoreboard that day and they were determined to make it look like pinball machine at our expense and humiliation.

Get this. They were leading 50-0 in the fourth quarter. They had their starters on the field and we were in punt formation near our own end zone. They lined up to block the punt. They blocked the punt. They recovered it in and ran it into the end zone for another touchdown. Then they went for a two-point conversion and got it.

They were piling it on like as if using a bulldozer to cover a grave.

I then dedicated myself to a lifetime of hatred for the Dexter Tigers. It’s like Red Sox fans hating the Yankees when they are in first place. Which seems like approximately forever.

I was back in Maine attending a family memorial last week. I saw the Maine high school football schedule in the Portland newspaper on Friday morning and saw that Foxcroft was scheduled to play Dexter in Dexter on Saturday afternoon, the next day. The same day that I needed to be in Boston to fly back to San Francisco.

However, at three o’clock on Friday afternoon, I was in Dover-Foxcroft visiting a high school classmate, the lovely Kathy McCarthy Polk, when I learned that the game between Foxcroft and Dexter had been re-scheduled because of Hurricane Earl. It was moved up to Friday – at four o’clock.

Within an hour I had postponed a dinner date with my stepmother and sped across the county line to Dexter in my rental car. When I arrived, the same scoreboard that recorded my nightmare game was still standing and Dexter was driving for a touchdown near its shadow. The Tigers scored on the opening drive of the game and my pain returned.

Not for long. The Ponies proceeded to score 36 unanswered points. Foxcroft’s head coach is Danny White, the son of Jere White who replaced me at starting quarterback after that 58-0 loss in 1970. He, too, vividly remembers that game as does Rick “Cheese” Pembroke, who along with me, Mark “Bagga” Stevens and Mike “Ace” Thomas comprised Foxcroft’s Fearsome Foursome as freshmen football players in 1968 when the four of us all weighed less than 100 pounds. Now I’m guessing the four of us combined weigh at least 800 pounds.

Anyway, it was payback time. The Ponies eventually won 44-12. The only thing that would have made it better is if the numeral `1’ had wound up in front of the `44’ on the visitor’s side of the scoreboard.

It just goes to show you that what goes around comes around.

Foxcroft has now beaten Dexter in football 20 years in a row.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home