The coach shook his head. "Could have been Purdue or Indiana," he said. "I didn't wait to find out. I popped the question to Flobelle that very night. She accepted me and after she had signed what amounted to a letter of intent, I took her into my arms."
The coach buried his head in his hands. "Lordy," he groaned, "what a woman!"
Bob Wyczk jumped to his feet. "What about the marriage, sir? Did—did something happen to Flobelle?"
The coach shook his head. "Some things, son," he said slowly, "are just not fated to be. That's my only explanation. The wedding never took place. I was forced to call the whole thing off."
"What happened, sir?"
"What happened?" said Blenheim, his eyes filling. "Why, that fool kid of hers went squirrel-hunting next day and blew off three toes with his shotgun. His college football career was over before it began."
The coach brushed a hand across his eyes and got up and hitched up his pants. He bent down to arrange his trouser cuffs over his boots. He straightened up and picked up his ten-gallon hat and said, "Come on, Bob Wyczk, let's get out of here. I need air."
Young Bob Wyczk followed the old coach out of the basement office, up the flight of stairs and out onto the campus. They walked along the path in silence, students hurrying by them, Blenheim bowing and muttering, "Hello, hello, there," although nobody spoke to him or even seemed to notice him—until an extremely thin boy in sweat shirt and chinos called out shrilly: "You gonna beat Wesleyan, Coach?" Coach Blenheim waved a hand and called back, "No predictions, boy! But they'll know they've been in a ball game!"
The path led them away from the mainstream of students and soon they were alone. Hands thrust in his trouser pockets, Bob Wyczk walked with his head down, frowning, kicking at the leaves. Blenheim held his head high, taking deep breaths and exhaling with loud "a-a-ahs." Suddenly he stopped and pointed down the path. "There's our athletic field, son. Not much to look at, is it?"
Bob Wyczk looked at the ivy-covered wall of the concrete stadium that consisted of two concrete stands, one on either side of the field. The ends were open, but there was obviously space for temporary seats.