You might think such grizzled veterans of the sandlot wars would have gone on to glory in the more effete form of the game known as regulation football. Not so. In high school not so long afterwards we went out for football as naturally as we breathed. We soon learned that the coaches—who wore clean sweat shirts that fitted and baseball caps and whistles on cords around their necks—were not looking for 125-pound sandlot whizzes.
Boys we scarcely knew, older fellows with muscles, who could run, pass, kick, block and tackle, were selected to play the tough, driving single-wing football.
So there we were. Neglected. Washed up. Has-beens at age 15. We sat around under shade trees on autumn afternoons like retired gladiators, reflecting on the days of our gridiron glory so recently vanished.