State Champions. Check.
99th Turkey Bowl Champions. Check.
Record-breaking 12 wins for the winningest football season in 101 years of Calvert Hall Football and 174 years of Calvert Hall College High School. Check.
“It is not good enough to win the Big Ten Championship. You also need to win the Rose Bowl.” This was my mantra to my running backs during pregame warmups.
I woke up at 2:00am naturally on Thanksgiving Day for the 99th Turkey Bowl with napalm running through my veins. I lifted weights in my professionally built garage weight room and got suited and booted.
I went through my normal pregame routine from my days as a high school and college football player that involves getting dressed early, looking straight ahead with tunnel vision, and talking to virtually no one. It might have been 20 degrees in the morning, but with napalm running through my veins, it was hot. “It ain’t cold. I bring the heat!”
So hot was I and intimidating was my game face that I even scared the big security guard on the sideline at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Said the security guard to me, “I am the one who is supposed to scare people!”
We dominated the game from start to finish. Backups got to score and seniors rode off into the sunset in glorious fashion. Our seniors raised the bar to the point where exceeding it would require perfection and a perfect season.
I spent the remainder of the day at a Calvert Hall family’s house where I spent the majority of the time asleep on the couch hugging a stuffed elephant. Let the record show that underneath this ferocious lion, I am just a cute, cuddly teddy bear inside. Yet, as my old Baylor running backs coach would say, “don’t let the smooth taste fool you.”