I don't want to say goodbye to you, so I'll just say goodnight
When they turned the camera on he was leaning so far away from the podium they had to reposition the lens just to get him completely on screen. The same people he stood in front of now had asked him this question a few weeks earlier:
“When did you first meet
Now he was just a kid standing in the corner of a funeral parlor while his best friend lay in a casket across the room. It was
But he showed up anyway and he listened to a bunch of people pretend to care what he was going through. Never before had he spoken as if what happened on the field intimidated him, or revealed something that made him question himself. But he didn’t even try to argue this time. Not that anyone would have listened, or believed him even if he did. The story had already been written, and there was no place in it for sympathy. There was an underdog tale Mike was no longer the protagonist of.
He’d spent the last three years both motivated by the hope of vengeance and a culminating triumph, and confident that it one day he’d get both. Now he just stood awkwardly and stared around the room while intermittently wiping the sweat off of his forehead.
At times he was almost consciously somber; not that he wasn’t as devastated as he seemed, but that it was too much to grasp at that moment. He knew how bad it felt about an hour before he got to the podium and how bad it'd make the hours of his life that followed. But for now he still smiled every once in a while. It was as if inside him was the consciousness of what just happened, the impulse to fight back, and the frustration that for the first time in his life he didn’t know how to.
Jake kept grabbing at his collar and looked as if he could crush bricks into dust with his clenched fists.
You can blame Lloyd for retiring a year too late, or Ron English for being everything Jim Herrmann was and we swore Ron wasn’t; you could blame Chad for losing control and never figuring out how to get it back. But next year, when there’s a new head coach, new running back, new pair of wide receivers, new left side of the offensive line, two new defensive backs, and the only thing familiar to you is the feeling that you’ve been defeated before the game has even begun, just try to remember how much this season should have meant to us. It's gone, and that's what we'll remember. It doesn't matter whose fault it was.
A few seconds after Minor fumbled they showed Mike walking up the sideline with his helmet in his hand. Like he’d done it before and he almost wanted to laugh because he was about to do it again. Maybe he was hurt, maybe he wasn’t. But he ran for 115 yards in the fourth quarter and had the guts to talk to us after it was all over.
This is a kid who calls himself H20, because “he can run like water,” and in every one of his last 12 games he’ll be fighting for a consolation prize. So if you want to know what hurts me most about the game, what burns holes in my heart, it’s not that I watched