I’d been part of the defense, set up to be an edge-passer on a high-school football team. Being a little guy, that surprised me, but I took to the role with the zeal I apply to things when I must get them done. Come game time, though, and I found myself lined up as a tight-end. Talk about confused! I had no idea about the offensive plays or blocking, but again, here I was, in a mess, so I would do what I had to do. Which meant, figuring it out as I went along.
They also weren’t including me in the huddle. Hello? Totally bewildered, I tried catching the coach’s eye to point out the obvious error of me being where I was. He told me to stay out there and do what I can. So —
I lined up, but it was an awkward position, because I was half-turned to see what the quarterback was doing. The ball was snapped. Here comes the rush. I blocked a guy and cut into a middle open flat, caught a pass and was crushed in a tackle. Still, five yards were gained. On the next play, I saw a hand-off to the running back, so I picked up rushers and helped make a path for him, resulting in a first down.
The next play was bizarre. Lined up, I could hear the defense talking and see the quarterback. He planned to throw to me, I realized. I mentally set myself for the task. Then, the quarterback didn’t set. He kept standing up, moving around, and checking the defense. Time was passing, passing…I almost fell out of my stance. I kept wondering why the quarterback didn’t set us and get the ball hiked. I worried about delay of game.
Meanwhile, the defense had drifted off to the sides. There was a huge hole in the middle. If I released and the quarterback threw a quick slant, I could exploit this defense.
The ball was finally hiked. I snapped out into the flat and looked for the pass, but the quarterback was running toward me. I turned to make a block, but no defenders were in the area. The quarterback raced thirty yards into the end zone for a touchdown.
I realized that the quarterback was planning this all along, and that I’d been part of his secret scheme. It impressed me. Looking at the scoreboard, I saw that we’d now scored three times, and the score was 21-3.
I awoke thinking, take the opportunity when it comes, and make the most of it, but create opportunities. The quarterback on done both.