The Works of Tedd Bear - Novels, Short Stories, Art, Craft and Commentary

Creeks Outlaws-First Play!

written by Tedd Bear

“First Play!” The battle cry that starts the greatest season in Outlaw history is how this story began.   26 Players banded together to form their warrior clan.  They launched the season with one initial test, to play the Mandarin team most thought as the best.  We were absent several players, our plays weren’t formed, our backs were not back our hair wasn’t shorn.  Our line wasn’t straight our guards knew not their fate; The team hadn’t teamed, our roll hadn’t steamed.  We knew from the beginning, that we were quite destined, to rise to the occasion, to create an impression.

Coach Angelo knew, to remove any question, he would have to appoint a different progression.  His role as Pres’ could be in the way, of making the playoffs or parents ruining his day.  But we all knew, and so did “The Don”, that to make it to the big dance he would need a motley crew.   So he convinced some coaches and key parents a few to support this effort and spirit anew.   He needed sacrifice and time, and money, and others, to bring to fruition this band of brothers.

The question arose, should we move up or down?  Do we play middle school, to play games local?  Or play one more year moving in and out of town?  Should we have Halloween, Christmas or just forget playing ball?  Or should we stay where we are and try and win it all?  Should we play flag or soccer or other less manly sports?  Do we give  up and stop after last years defeat?  Or do we come back, man up, and take some Tacolcy heat?  Back rooms were filled and decisions were made.  Orders were given, and some, were actually obeyed!

The team had been around for quite a day, but in the end, new brothers were brought to the fray.  From some teams we knew and from some far away.   Some moved up, and some stayed down.  Some came from across the street, and some came in from out of town.  Could they play?  That was the real true question.   We learned early on who could.  Some, really kept us guessing…..

So we entered the season, with a band of brothers.  We started on August 31st just like many others.  The first team we played, we’d seen a time or two before.  Rivals from cities, the saints would test us once more.  Were we ready?  Only the game would tell.  Once we got to the field we heard a new yell.  We knew we would have to start with a courageous  “First Play!”, to let the other team know we were there to stay.   We took the field and then all of a sudden, “Take their Hearts!” a new line, came a thuddin’.  What is this, some warrior cry?  Some primeval scream from days gone by?  Some antics I’m sure but what did it mean?  This new, strange yell from past or between.  “If you take the hearts, the bodies will fall. “  You will win the game and in the end- them all.  The kids rallied to this, this new strange beginning, and routed the Saints with a 36-0 ending.

I’ll use this time for “Bucs” one and “Bucs” two.  One was D3 and one was D2.  We could not tell the difference having played them both, ‘cept one was more aggressive and dirtier that most.    So the league set us up to play the bucs?  Seems unfair to them, has the league run amok?  Who is this team with blue on the field?  How do they play?  Would they best our will?  The battle raged on for at least one good quarter.  They played us well, and then we took over.  The crowd on the other side started to get nervous.  Did they know who we were?  Apparently not.  Coach Rob had to explain:  “You are not going to beat us, especially not on our spot.  We are the city champions, I thought someone told ya!”  No! exclaimed the coach, we thought you were butta.  We thought we could slice you, and spread you around, and leave you whimpering, confused, and lying on the ground.  We thought we could intimidate you with fighting and dirt, we even, got one, of your players hurt.  We got you into a fight and expelled one of your coaches.  We battled the Jolly even though we encroaches.  Coach rob proclaimed, “Well now you know, and just so it’s said, you picked on the wrong kid, cause the whole team came to his aid.

One in particular, a new kid to this team, known as the “Gronk”, came to take up for his brother with steam.  He was ready to defend the Jolly with glee.  No one messes with my brothers, keep trying, you’ll see!

Well, one buc or two, it really didn’t matter.  One really was sad, but both made it sadder.  The result was the same, for each of them, we reamed.  We trounced them both, not one but two teams.  The facts may be confused, the scores may be too, but the events did happen, I promise its true.

We also played the lions, the roar from the city.  I don’t remember them that much either, but I was sure they were Sh…ty!  We played them well, just like the teams before.  And end the end the Lion’s roar was no more.

The next game for us was not to be much.  The team we’d play from lakeshore was mostly a bust.  The players from last year that held us to 6, remained to play down.  I guess they feared the big hits.  They stayed junior pee wee, in hopes of beating everyone in town.  I’ll mention it here but no more in this story, that our junior pee wee team was headed to glory.  They beat lakeshore again,  in what seemed like a fluke, but collected the win, but, in good fashion too.

The Bulls came next, again a new team.  We did not play them last year, but still, good, they seemed.  We finished them too, but in short fashion.  We prepared for the next game to test our strong passion.

Next was a D1 team.  It was to be a battle of the ages, a team of real talent.  I looked at the sidelines to a group of nervous parents.  We’d have to conquer, in small little stages.  To let them know this was a team that rages.  First we’d pressure them good, without having to strut, and run that ball, right straight up the gut.  Surely a team made of oompa-loompas could not give them much fuss.  On the other hand,  we were nervous going in, ‘cause we knew the refs were against us.

We’d have to play two teams this particular day.  The  D1 Renegades were the first team, but the refs were also in the fray.  One ref in particular, would not call anything.  Afraid to throw the small yellow thing.  She simply ran up and down the field.  She observed and watched and apparently was thrilled, that this small team could hang so well, that she forgot to manage the game and keep things going swell.

We managed to win the game to mouths all agape.  We triumphed over D1 and could not escape.  The fact we were good was no more in question.  But more importantly, we showed quite a lesson.  Don’t talk trash and take us for granted, cause we’ll fight and fight till your champions we’ve supplanted.

The next games didn’t matter cause they ended the same.  We ran through the cities with thoughts on one game.  There was one more team we needed to see.  The one, the only the famed Tacolcy.

Orlando was full of pride and arrogance.  People strutting around as if in a trance.  There were champions galore that roamed through the halls.   Some carried trophies above their heads and wore rings, them all.  Surely they could repeat and win once again, but little did they know that we were destined to win.

We got plenty of rest and sent the boys to bed early.  Even the parents disappeared, especially those quite surly.  We knew the importance of resting the players.  We needed to shut the mouths of all the nay-sayers!

The contest was started when we left last year, played on fields and in minds and in the hearts and ears.  The talk on the “Horn” was at an all time high, that Angelo’s team was no joke this time.

“They came to play, warned the teams from Miami.  We’re tellin yall now especially you-talcolcy, that if you take these boys for granted, you be sent home in tears, no matter what you did in the past good years.”

They listened and prepared with plenty of trick plays.  One in particular came into the day.  They tried the “frog”.  Apparently this play is a ringer.  However, we were ready and gave it the finger.

The game was close as it was supposed to be.  The teams played according to what the world expected to see.  The score last year was a fluke, knew we all.  Unfairly we blamed the OC, Coach Paul.

It wasn’t our time, it wasn’t meant to be.  We had a great team, but needed some growth.  All of us-players, parents, team and the coach.  This year we were ready, we’d learned some good lessons.  Don’t take a team for granted and don’t count your blessings….Before they’ve hatched is the rest of that motto, cause winning the big game is just like the lotto!

Strategic plays were seen all through the night.  We were really quite nervous and for sure we were right.  The game changed possession on a couple of occasions, and some of us men, felt like we’d shriveled to raisins…

The crowds were there they came out like roaches, but in the end the game came down to coaches.  Say what you want about what happened last year, we’re all annoyed, but in this game you cannot beat the strategy employed.

Let them have a safety, the coaches decreed.  Let them think they’ve got a chance, and fool ol’ coach Dee.  But take their hearts was true sure enough.  Cause in the end, our defense really had the right stuff.  We could stop a train with Ike’s defensive troup.  As shown before he could pull of a coup.

So end the end we stopped them from scoring and took our rightful place.  This time with the tears streaming their face!  This time, with us standing quite proud, to the astonishment and dismay of the other teams’ sad, sad crowd.

The story doesn’t really end here, to say the least.  There is more that can be told to put this at peace.  We did go on to win the national championship and though it was tough, the game before was really, more rough.  Tacolcy deserves to get some of the credit.  They played very well while coached by Dee Britt.

The Super Bowl was great, and there were lessons to teach.  Don’t come to Florida without a deep reach.  You cannot come to the heat without bringing more, that 24 players to even the score.  Even though were small, we bring quite a ranking, so if you’re not ready, you will get a spanking.

If your town is famous for playing basketball, please be ready for a whooping and all.  We are known for football down here, and do our best to accommodate cheer.  Its not that we hate on any other sports, in fact we love them all but in due time of course.

If from California you come to conquer this storm.  Please cut your hair because it’s a part of the uniform!

Just to let you know, wherever we go, you’re in our house as the 12th man will show.  We are a team of warriors with big ‘ol hearts.  We came together from many different parts.   Our battle calls are not for the faint, we are not malicious just we don’t know “caint”.  We start with the first play to establish our parts, to make you surrender to “take your hearts”.  We have will in abundance and enforce it on you.  To win, of course, will do what we have to do!

But always with honor we will play this game.  Never will you see us do anything to bring shame.  Now you have a condensed version of our story and hopefully it doesn’t end.  Cause what we ultimately do is make really good men.  Lessons we teach for them to carry on forever, and hopefully they take them to all future endeavors.

In the end, its about what you say, but to us it began with the very first play.

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