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When I got there I saw eight or 10 Harrison Street Athletic Clubbers out on the field. I walked out and asked for whoever was in charge, and this guy with a clipboard walked over.
"You the guy who called?" he asked. "The t'rower?"
I said, "Yeah, I throw."
He handed me a ball and said, "T'row."
"Who to?" I asked.
He said, "T'row to the Tree."
It didn't seem like things were getting off to much of a start because I didn't know why I was supposed to throw at a tree unless it was some kind of accuracy test. Worse, there wasn't a tree around that I could reach. And then the one with the clipboard yelled, "Hey, Tree," and one of the others walked over.
The boss said, "He's the tight end and we call him the Tree. He's the one who answered the phone. Say hello, Tree."
"Huh," he said, and I shook hands with the Tree and then walked back and threw him a soft one, praying it would spiral. It did, and the Tree one-handed it and threw it back.
He was 6'6" or 7' and did look like a tree, like a weeping willow. He was bent over in a long curve, and when he stood still his hands hung down to his knees. He handled a football the way Meadowlark Lemon handled a basketball in the post, as if it had handles. I figured he wouldn't have too much for moves but that you could throw six feet behind him and he'd flick out a tentacle and suck it in.