I participated in Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction competition once again: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/01/10/flash-fiction-challenge-roll-for-title/
I got the title Snowbound Champion.
Well, I used to play college football, but I’ve never done a sports story for flash fiction Thursday. Mission accomplished. I’ve never even read a real sports book so we’ll see how this goes.
This story contains a lot of obscure football lingo, so I apologize in advance to the 98% of readers who have no f’n clue what’s going on. You might just wanna skip over this one.
Oh, yeah…read it and enjoy it anyway.
The white flakes kept falling–there was that to contend with. Adam saw forty-five seconds left on the clock. He knew it’d take a touchdown to win. However, all that mattered was converting a miracle fourth and twelve on his own thirty seven yard-line.
He warmed his stone hands in the hand warmer pouch that dangled from his belt. Adam’s hot breath fogged up his visor in the snowy conditions, but nearly sixty minutes of football made him forget.
The microphone crackled in his ear. “Spread right open, DDP, X Takeoff.” He hated the speaker, but his offensive coordinator’s Southern accent made it easier to understand.
Adam thought back to their first practice in mini camp where they ran that play until the receivers started throwing up. Coach Jones called it the ultimate zone beater. The tight end ran the drag, slot ran the dig, and the strong side Z took his route to the post (Drag, Dig, Post—DDP—impossible to forget), while the X kept the secondary busy on the other side with a go route.
He called the play and stepped up to the line. The double high safety look made him mentally forget about his X receiver. Down and distance didn’t allow him to throw to the tight end.
Might as well be blocking, he thought.
Adams barked signals. “Fifty-five is Mike,” he said, identifying the middle backer in order to set the protection. Based on his call, there would be no slide protection from the line. The half back was protecting strong side and would leak out as a check-down receiver late. “Monday, Monday,” he yelled, signaling to his offense that they were going ‘on one’. “Red 74,” he yelled. It meant nothing.
Please be cover two or man under, he thought. Cover four and we’re fucked. “Red 74…hut.”
The ball came back to him in a blur, and he caught it easily. Adam watched the safeties on his first two steps back. No disguise, he thought. Two steps later, he saw the cornerbacks dropping back in his peripheral vision—with their eyes on him. Shit, it’s cover four. Gotta force it—go big or go home.
Adam stared down his X receiver. He had no intention of throwing to him, but if the free safety stayed on his hash, he’d have no shot.
He settled on his plant foot, then stepped up in the pocket. The wind from the defensive end’s hands made the hair on his arms stand up when the end swatted for the ball.
His internal alarm clock already screamed in his head. Just before he prepared to let it go, Adam jerked his head over to the slot receiver, watching him make his break for the post. The strong safety slipped in the snow.
“Got em’,” he said aloud, speaking more to himself than to anyone else. He released the ball clean—just before the nose guard planted him on the wet snow.
Adam lifted his head up from the snow. Fog covered his entire visor. He couldn’t see an inch past the thick plastic.
He wiped it clean just in time to watch his receiver high-stepping into the endzone.