This generation often expects too much accuracy from its Dad’s and Grandad’s yarns, especially from those of us with exaggerated memories of our youthful athletic episodes. Very often our tales are not perfectly true accounts of what happened, but what we storytellers believe should have happened.

Why not just let us ramble on with our edited versions of our “Golden Moments” like hitting the game-winning homer (If it hadn’t been thwarted by the umpire’s questionable shout of “Foul ball”!}

My “Winning touchdown account” is mostly accurate. I’m quite sure my left tackle’s block cleared the path to the goal line for our victorious ball carrier. All of that is true, but, admittedly, my account lacks complete details.

As the clock ticked off the tie game’s final seconds, I was hoping to stop one of the charging opponents between my galloping fullback and the goal line. But then I tripped on a loose shoelace and became a horizontal projectile. Three bulking enemy linemen stumbled and fell over me as the ball carrier zipped by and was later carried off the field as a conquering hero.

I was also carried off the field, semi-conscious and with a lot of footprints on the back of my jersey. The old “Gridirony” poem tells the story: “The lowly, hardworking tackle….rarely gets the glory that the fullback’ll.”

My embellished accounts can’t easily be challenged now because most of my old teammates are either living in Florida nursing homes or playing in the Pearly
Gates League.

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