Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Evil Empire Has Called...

Funny how things time themselves out huh? I left for work with thoughts of the Traveling Circus on my mind... and then I received a phone call from the Evil Empire on my cell while I was at work.

And by Evil Empire, I don't mean the Traveling Circus. Another minor league football team in the state called me. A pretty famous one. One a little south of here. Like thirty miles south. (for those not from around here.... that would be RACINE)

They are arguably the most famous semi-pro team in the country. The current version of the Evil Empire has existed in one form or another for 40 years. Before that, they were around for decades. The original team, then known as the Gladiators were sold and moved to Detroit. Upon arrival in Detroit, they became known as the Lions, and joined a fledgling league known as the NFL. The team in Racine even played the Green Bay Packers WAY back in the day.

So enough with the history lesson. Before I get back to the call, this is all ironic because of the stuff Nort brought to my attention in the post below. I used to play, and was a founding board member of the Traveling Circus. The 2005 board, which I was on at the time, voted to purchase $3500 worth of jerseys. We didn't have the money, but had the promise of the money coming in. Myself and a few others voted against the purchase, but we were out voted. Long story short, not all the promised money made it in. Big surprise. Take the italics there to mean COMPLETE sarcasm.

So in well documented on field events, and frustration from an utter roadblock to getting things done the right way off the field finally got me to abandon the sinking ship that Nort had the foresight to abandon months earlier. I did alot of work for them, and I cannot imagine how some of those things are going to get done now. The website hasn't been updated since early October. They've played games since then. Which is funny to me, because when I did the site, it was never good enough, and someone couldn't wait for me to be forced to give it up. Well, he got his wish. Glad to see it's working out for him.

And then there's the Evil Empire. Someone on the Circus with close ties to the Empire was speaking with the President of the Empire shortly before the first game that the Circus and Empire played this past season. The President asked if I was starting at QB that night. The answer was that I was no longer with the team, and that was the end of the conversation.

Fast forward to today. The same two people are speaking again, the President asked Robert... I mean the Circus player.... why I wasn't with them anymore. Upon hearing the story, the President asked if it would be alright if he called me. My number was given out, and I got the call.

He said to me that it didn't occur to him to ask at the game why I left, but asked what my football plans were. I explained my situation with the Hitmen, and how happy I was. He understood, but asked if they could keep in touch. He's not in a position to promise anything, but they've lost pretty much their whole group of QBs. He said that upon hearing my situation, he called the coaching staff, and they are interested in me coming down there.

When I asked how he knew who I was, he said that I had played better against them better than any other QB outside of Kane County, IL. I took an ass whuppin', and still almost beat them twice. I thanked him for the compliment, and that was it. I called Robert, and he said that he's giving thought to going down there, and thinks I'd do well behind that offensive line.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have found a family with the Hitmen. But it felt nice to have that conversation, especially with the Evil Empire. They beat my ass for 4 years, and yet, they think well of me.

I'd get to use brand new balls in practice. Any equipment I ever needed would be a conversation away. Locker rooms at practice, where you can leave your equipment. The chance to play in front of 1500 fans, minimum, every home game. An actual position coach. Games on the radio, 2-3 page coverage in the newspaper, and more community support than you can shake a stick at. All travel paid, with meal money on the road. I live just far enough away that I'd qualify for gas money to the practices. Practices where everyone shows up... or they don't play. A winning season.

Excuse me for a moment, I have to go take a cold shower.

I wonder if this is what free agents feel like when the Yankees call. I mean, tough to say no, right?

But the Hitmen gave me a second chance at a football life, and I'd be hard pressed to leave, even if Racine could offer me a guarantee that I'd be 'the man'. I love my new family.... but selfishly, it sure felt damn good to get that call.


At 12:40 PM, Anonymous g said...

and that, my friend, is exactly why the Empire can suck in everyone they can. The chance to live in glory - or as much glory when you don't play for the green and gold.


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