Thursday, August 04, 2005

Shine On Jarett Macli, Shine On

When I was a sophomore in high school, our JV football coach was a man named Jarett Macli.

Now, when I say "man," I mean Macli was 25, a recent college dropout, back at the old high school he used to go to, in order to make some cash and relive some of his glory days on the football field. He was a kicker. He didn't shave that often. He was INTENSE.

One game, we were up 14-0 at halftime. We gathered around Macli for some words of wisdom. He kneeled down in the middle of us as we stood in a circle, and shook his head.

"Do you guys love football?" He asked.

There were a few mumbled "Yeahs."

He shook his head again. He looked up at us with a bloodshot, crazed look in his eyes. "You guys gotta love football. You guys gotta dream football. You guys gotta breathe football."

At this point, he looked over at Osita "O-Train" Mbadugha. Osita's knee was skinned, glistening red and pink in the dull afternoon light.

Macli reached out.

"You gotta taste football."

And with that, in one swift, shocking motion, he wiped Osita's wound with his dirty fingers, brought his hand back, now covered in blood and a scrap of skin, and licked it clean. "Now get back out there!!!" He shouted.

We lost miserably.

I thought Macli was the only one in the world insane enough to do such a thing (last I heard, he was running a winery in New England) but today, I read this:

Football Coach Licks Wounds

Macli's spirit lives on.

Shine on, Jarett Macli, wherever you are, Shine on.

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