"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

number 9...number 9

We had a great practice tonight and most everyone was in a great mood, maybe because it rained and snowed in Redding all day and practice was moved indoors to the gym.

The rookies also got to pick their jersey numbers tonight. After bouncing around in the range of eligibles (numbers that allow me to catch a pass w/out notifying the ref ahead of time) -- first I picked 19, but that seemed too quarterback-ish which I'm not, then I picked 37, which would have been OK but it's more of a running back number, and 99 was already taken by one of our linemen -- I finally settled on 9 which is a proper kicking number (but I can still be a receiver and all that).

It looks like I might get to do some serious kicking. I am stoked about this because I think I could actually be really good at it with ongoing practice. We had another rookie player who had a mean left-footed boot but unfortunately she may not be able to play for medical reasons. It will be a while before we start officially practicing special teams, most of us still have to learn how to tackle and apparently that's kind of a priority in the coaches' minds, but after the last few field practices I've been punting a few and a couple teammates have been fielding. Then they throw long bombs back to me which is also good since my catching needs all the help it can get.

I also have my own kickoff tee. Last Saturday formal practice was cancelled since the coaches were at a coaching clinic (in Reno, probably getting coached on how to navigate all-you-can eat buffets as an added bonus) and I worked on kickoffs. Had a small breakthrough, figured out that I was reaching too far for the ball and if I put my left foot down somewhere just past the ball, the power and lift increase dramatically.

I may not be Adam Vinatieri just yet, but at least he and I are the same age. That's a good start. I am only an inch and a half shorter than Martin Gramatica, who is my favorite kicker to watch because he prays so fervently before every kick. Too bad he plays for Dallas because I can't help but want him to make his kicks even though we always want Dallas to lose.

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