It was 1976 and it was the football game to end all games. It was raining and the field was soggy. Our team was ahead by a touchdown. The other team was driving down the field. The guys in the crew always protected me. A double hip fracture, cortisone injections and 2 summers in a full body cast should have convinced me not to be on that field playing football. But the guys always kept me out of danger handing me the ball and forming a wall of protection and yelling to slide down when that wall was about to break and a hard tackle was imminent.
I played in the backfield on defense to avoid any danger but this time my team could not protect me the runner broke through and I stood between the runner and a touchdown. I heard the toughest biggest baddest dude on the team yell, “Gary do not let him get through”. I was afraid, everything slowed down with mud and water flying all over the place. I caught up to the runner, I reached out grabbed him and we both fell sliding in all the muck. I heard my team screaming, I stopped him from scoring. They ran down the field picked me up and those guys made me feel great all the way home.
I learned then that having a team that has your back makes you better in all that you do and while the prospect of a third fracture would have been devestating, I walked off that field knowing that I was part of the greatest game ever played.