In the far end zone Ringo and Forester are leading them in calisthenics. Behind me I hear the roar from the stands and I turn and see the other team, in silver and white uniforms, coming out, down the ramp and out onto the field. I search the other side of the field until I find him, that other coach, my counterpart, and I walk over.
"How are you?" I say, and we shake hands.
"Fine," he says. "You?"
"All right," I say. "We drew a rotten day."
"We can't do anything about that."
"I'm sorry about the condition of the field, though," I say. "We've had rain most of the week, and they had a high school game here Friday night."
"I understand," he says.
"Well," I say, "good luck, and I'll see you."
"Thanks," he says. "The same to you."
As I turn I see that the referee is bringing over No. 56, that great middle linebacker of theirs. All week, day and night, he had been invading my thoughts, and I have put in that opener just for his benefit. Now we shake hands. Ringo and Forester have joined us. Then I leave, and I'm aware that the light rain seems to have stopped.