-1 Minute Prior-
I'm not gonna call myself ugly or anything, but I had a feeling that anyone distracted by me was gonna get just as distracted by Ben, if not more. I'm shorter and scrawnier, even if I've gotten a lot of progress out of Mom's training program.
Ben's jacket shirt wordlessly joined the small pile of clothes. As his second-in-command, was I, the right hand man, truly willing to not show solidarity? This was athletic, physical competition. As you're well aware, I'm far from a show-off, but could I leave him to his lonesome like that?
My hoodie followed.
Even if I was to be outshined?
My white, school-issued cotton tee, size M, followed
Even if I was to look foolish beneath the blacksmith's forged iron?
...Just my go-to undershirt left. A nondescript wifebeater, that had in all honestly seen the bedsheets more than anything like daylight.
To turn back now would be to admit defeat.
I may be a quitter.
I may halfass everything I do.
I may have a horrendous habit of self-defeat, be it psychologically or through my own misguided action.
I am all of those things and I do all of those things, as you're painfully aware.
The image of Priscilla Montgomery, aura completely drained and riddled with slices, flashed through my mind.
...I refuse to bring these to bear when I have everyone else on the line. If I backed out, that would be weakness broadcast to everyone on the field— the enemy and my own comrades. Sports are as much psychological as they are physical, and the image I needed to project is none other than that of a man who knows what he's doing.
Who knows what he is capable of.
Who knows he will not, can not, and must not fear those that stand in his path to victory.
I will bolster. I will support.
I'll have to fight, for their sakes if not my own.
This was football
In 2009, the USDA placed a ban on the import of all Japanese beef to prevent the Japan foot-and-mouth outbreak from reaching US shores. The ban was relaxed in August 2012. Shortly thereafter, Kobe beef was imported into the US for the first time.
I caught my bracer, applying it rather snugly to my wrist. If I was going to be shirtless, I didn't want anything loose bugging me and feeling out of place."Works for me."
Come to think of it, I'd always favored red over blue when the choice presented itself, even if I had no qualms with the latter. Maybe it had something to do with the trim of my high school's uniforms. Maybe it was the forests to the south in the autumn, and how beautiful I always found them. Maybe...We'll push those Sandrakers off our world.
In any case, I had little time to mull it over.
Coach Roy had seen enough, and was ready for the game to begin in earnest
The shrill, classically gym-associated whistle sounded.It was time.
I burst into action—
Moments too slow. Trad's team had possesion.
Quite literally, I had to switch gears straight out the gate. I'd intended a run down the side, but was forced to cut to a hard stop and react instead to the enemy's pace.
They'd set it. Not good."EVERYONE ON SOMEBODY!"“Selena! Pass to Krysanthe!”
Was Trad's plan to call out passes? A risky one if I ever saw them...
He was his team's tank. It's a risky job, I would know, but not one that you did if you were dumb.
I needed to see if a pattern would emerge before I told people to start listening for his callouts. If I pulled that too early, I'd expect to be feinted within the next three passes.
For my part, I kept my eyes on the throng, trying to make sure that I filled whoever would end up as the gap in our defenses.