Arc of the Game

Nate and Jessie were the star athletes of their school football team. To Nate and his family, football was everything. Jessie enjoyed playing, but he enjoyed another aspect of school equally as much. His teammates would have laughed if he told them how much he loved science. He actually enjoyed dissecting a fetal pig sophomore year, and studying Newton’s Laws. Nate, on the other hand,  saw school as just a place to socialize. He was dating Cynthia, a girl who was smart as well as beautiful, and she would do 99% of his homework.

One day, Nate threw a pass that went too shallow, and Jessie felt that it was finally time to bring his two favorite pastimes together.

“You just have to correct one of two things,” Jessie said, “You can either increase the arc of the ball by throwing it higher, or throw the ball faster so it drops at a slower rate. Then you just need to factor in the wind speed and direction,” Nate rolled his eyes. Later on in the practice, Nate failed to tackle Chuck, a lineman, who was a much bigger guy.

“You could play more to your strengths,” Jessie told Nate, “It sounds counter-intuitive, but you need to get down even lower. This will increase your center of gravity, and make you more sturdy. It will also make it easier to grab hold of his legs and force him to fall.”

“Thanks for the advice,” Nate said, “But I know what I’m doing. I liked it better when you weren’t such a know-it-all.” This time Jessie rolled his eyes, but he listened to his friend, and didn’t give him anymore advice. Instead, he focused on the rest of his teammates. They had the humility to test his advice, and they benefited positively.

When the next game rolled around, Jessie had gained a whole lot more respect from his teammates. This annoyed Nate so much that he went in for a tackle without shifting his weight properly. He was knocked to the ground so hard that he suffered a concussion and had to be taken off the field in a gurney. Jessie still led his team to victory that night, while Nate awoke in a hospital room the following morning, and decided that accepting advice isn’t so bad.

This work is protected under Creative Commons BY-NC

This story was written by Alex Schattner (7/29/12)

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