How to take a ball to the face, and take it well…

Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 10:02 pm ET

Kissed With Apocalypse, Sports, The Rest

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Pounding faces for at least 100 yearsHey, remember high school gym class? And those epic dodgeball games you got to play on Fridays?

Sure, there might have been some variations: number of players on each side, number of balls in play, etc.

Some of you may have even played “Bombardment,” or another version of the traditional game, but one rule likely remained constant 98.735% of the time: “NO AIMING FOR THE HEAD. OKAY, BOYS?” ~ Coach Williams. God rest his soul.

Now, one’s social status obviously affected their perspective on this rule.

For some, it was a godsend, and probably restored their faith in something, anything, on a weekly basis. It reminded them that someone had their back during this awkward high school period, and that once they got to college — where everyone would obviously be so much more mature and less taken by the superficial — their interpersonal relationship fortunes would blossom. 

God rest those expectations.

For others, the rule was just another in a long line of equalizers employed by those ex-hippie “can’t-doers.” A calculated effort to minimize the effects of natural selection, destroying the competitive fiber of American society in the process. 

Hey, at least Coach Williams understood.

Regardless of this dynamic, ultimately, the rule was followed — for the most part. 

“Accidents” did happen, of course (see below).  “Errant” throws would occasionally be made — like that day the captains of the chess team and Mathletes, and the President of the AV Club, were all victims of head shots from your star quarterback, ace pitcher and the guy that was always able to get his hands on some booze, respectively.

And who was there going to bat for them in the principal’s office? Getting those in-school suspensions reduced to firm slaps on the wrist?  

Seriously, Mr. Harding. I’ve  been coaching high school kids for 23 years now.  It wasn’t intentional. This one just sailed on him.  Trust me.” ~ Coach Williams. 

Seriously, God rest his soul.

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