Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Fuzzy Memories: $100,000 Baby

During my junior year in college, our football team was running a contest during halftime. Since it was Davidson's 100th year of football, they were giving away a chance at $100,000 for one lucky fan every home game. The way you could win said $100,000, was to first get selected to attempt the $100,000 toss, then you had to make the $100,000 toss.

And what is the $100,000 toss: Only the most impossible throw thought up...well maybe not, but close. You had to throw a football 25 yards through a hole which couldn't be more than the width of the football plus like a centimeter. I'm not kidding, my friends were in charge of the contest (more on that later) and they were joking around just trying to push the ball through the hole, and missed.

Well, I'm sure you already know that I didn't win $100,000 or I wouldn't be writing a blog about my not-so-spectacular life, but the story's still good, so let's continue.

It's Parents Weekend and my parents and both my brothers have come to visit for the weekend. This is probably like the 3rd or 4th home game and since it's college football, there's only 5 total. The contestants who threw in the first games really sucked and no one had even hit the board, let alone gotten the crowd fired up by nearly winning...so the guy running the contest was hoping to make it a bit more exciting since we actually had a big crowd for once (parents always get sucked into going to the game and paying for low quality football...as if $24,000 a year wasn't bleeding them enough.)

Anyway, as I mentioned a good number of my friends worked the games as ushers and were therefore in charge of this game. When the head guy mentioned this, they immediately came and found me to ask if I wanted to do it. You see, though I'm no Dan Marino or even Dan Wuerffel, this was what I was meant to do. I used to play UBQB a Montgomery Mall throughout high school, and I even painted "88" on a tree and practiced throwing the ball at it, I was prepared, and I was ready.

At first, I was a bit nervous about the whole thing, but when halftime came around and they called my name as the "randomly" selected contestant, I was locked in. I walked out to mid field and they placed the board at the 25 yard line. The guy running the show went over the rules and handed me a ball. Anyone else would have probably been real intimidated by the crowd, being in front of your parents and your classmates, and looking like a dumbass if you throw a bad pass, but all I was thinking about...no kidding...was that the guy said, "Don't cross the 50 yard line or the pass doesn't count."

What? How much would that suck if you actually made the impossible toss even from 24 1/2 yards and they didn't give you the $100K. I'd be so pissed. That would be quite possibly the worst thing in the world. That's like always choosing the same 5 numbers in the lottery every day, then taking a day off when they actually get picked. Or like raaiiin on your wedding day, a freeeee riiide...what the fuck. Anyway, my mind wandered, I reeled back and winged the ball at the board.

Needless to say, I didn't throw a sissy ball like all the people before me. I still remember the sound of the ball thudding off the wood. It was loud. I threw the shit out of that ball. Perfect spiral. Looking good. Fading low and to the right...missed it by like 4 feet. Flew back almost 15 yards. Still a silly throw. The crowd was psyched, my friends were psyched, the joy faded, and I was still poor. But I have a picture to remind me of what could have been.

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