Wah and Amadeo walked side-by-side from the locker room to the football field. The shoulder pads, domed helmet and hip pads added a Frankenstein bulk to the athletic teens. However, their gait was not robotic like the fabled monster. It was the deliberate yet agile movement of the developing athlete. The scrimmage uniform was dark green and white. The shirt was all green except for a white chest and back panel, which had their numbers on it. Wah was number 90 and Amadeo was number 78. The pedal pusher length pants were the same solid dark green with a double white stripe down the side. Their ankle boots had rubber traction cleats. The matching green helmet had their respective white numbers on the back only. A white plastic mesh grille extended from the jaw of the helmet to three-inches forward of their mouth.
Coach Carbuncle motioned them to come over to the players assembled around the team captain, Sean Rourke.
“Rourke.” Carbuncle placed his right arm on Wah’s left shoulder pad. He spoke loud enough for the group of twenty-four players to hear. The teams were the traditional offense and defense divisions. “This is Wing Wah. He’s had football experience in China and the information I have from his previous coach sez he can play either offense or defense.”
“Yeah. We already met.” Rourke growled at Wah. His fractured left little toe, which was taped to an adjacent toe, began to throb within his ankle boot.
“Start him on offense.” Carbuncle stared at Rourke conveying the message he wanted no trouble here. “See how good a receiver he is.”
“Right, Coach.” Sean Rourke, number 43, nodded and put his helmet on. Perfect, I can pass to him and have the defense sack him into the ground. Rourke motioned to Melvin Farsle, a large black muscled defensive back. “Hey.”
“What, man?” Farsle glared at Rourke.
“We gotta test the new Chink.” Rourke grinned. “I’m going to use him as a receiver in the next three plays. Make sure he eats the turf and hurts bad.”
“Yeah, man? Why I should do that?” Farsle placed his hands on his hips. “He catches the ball. We tackle him. No big deal.”
“Nothin’. It’s just he told me that niggers should be water boys. He said they’re too stupid for offense and can only do no-brainer, dumb-shit defense.” Rourke filled his voice with disgust shaking his head side-to-side. “He said you got the number with only one digit because jungle bunnies can only count using their hands.”
Melvin Farsle, number 9, was silent. He stared into Rourke’s eyes shadowed by the white mesh of the green helmet. The defense wore all white uniforms with green numbers front and back on the shirts. Farsle and everyone else knew Rourke was a troublemaker and a bigot. Farsle watched Rourke go over to the Chinese guy, number 90. Rourke and the new guy were talking. The Chinese was staring in his direction and shaking his head in an affirmative response. The new guy left Rourke and was heading his way.
Wah walked over to number 9. Farsle noted he walked with assertiveness and looked well muscled for a short Chinese.
“I am Wing Wah.” Wah waved his hand up in greeting to Farsle. “You have water?”
Farsle’s eyes widened.
“You are number 9 and I am number 90.” Wah was courteous and friendly. “Number nine is so much easy to remember, is it not so?” Wah put out his hand in a gesture of friendship.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish