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If There Is One Photo That Needs To Be Brought Out Behind The Woodshed And Put Out Of Its Misery, This Is It

Randy McDaniel
Randy McDaniel

We all like to brag to our kids about our ‘growing up’ days. You know, how tough we had it, how hard we worked, how we helped old ladies across the street, that kind of stuff. And of course, our athletic prowess, how great we were on the basketball court, the volleyball court or the football field.

Now, I admit I may have exaggerated a teeny bit as far as the athletic achievements. There may have been, oh I don’t know, perhaps a time or two, when the kids were little, that I embellished just a tad on the old High School days. After all, it was soooo many years ago and memories can get a little, ah, hazy.

I mean, who really remembers who scored that winning touchdown at Homecoming against our arch rival, an acrobatic leap in the end of the end zone, toes barely in-bounds, stretched to the max, holding onto the ball as the crowd of thousands went absolutely wild. I don’t know, it could have been me. Or I might have thrown it those 60 yards, pin pointing the ball perfectly into the outstretched hands of the receiver. That could have been me throwing it, couldn’t it? And we might well have gone undefeated that year, may have won the Minnesota State football title, I might have been all-state, and I could have turned down that full ride scholarship to the University of Minnesota.

Somebody in the state of Minnesota did all that back in that year and if my memory serves me correctly, well, that could have been me.

And then this shows up, the photo you see here. Down in the bottom of some long lost box in the garage, carelessly kept all these years instead of burned like a piece of evidence from High School should be. It survived. And that’s not all. The entire yearbook found it’s way into the hands of my kids, all grown up now of course. Those same kids who, at 10 years old, marveled at the sports exploits of their Father. Now, they were in their 30′s and they had the evidence, the yearbook that should have been given a decent burial the day after I was telling them my yarns….I mean, my memories as I recalled them.

It was all there. It actually wasn’t an undefeated team I “starred” on. We we actually 4-8, and lost to one team 60-0 and another 48-0. And yes, it mentioned 3 players made all-conference, but doggone it…I wasn’t one of them. And as it turned out, that 4-year scholarship to play for the Golden Gophers? Gee, it turned out to be admission to a Vo-Tech for Radio Broadcasting.

Uh…well, I knew it was one or the other.

My kids, staring in horror at the photo you see here, said that I might have done better had I worn a helmet, but it did explain a lot about things that I did later in life. My kids remarked that you didn’t see a lot of football players wearing Buddy Holly glasses when they’re down in their stance. One of my Grandkids looked at the picture, burped and went out to ride the trike.

So now it’s out in the open, my High School football career exposed for all to see. I didn’t instill fear and terror in the eyes of my opponents, the guys across the line from me. It was more like giggling. Or maybe gagging.

Then they turned to the basketball section of the yearbook.

Oh geez, here we go again. But no, I will not put the picture here, not with those basketball shorts we wore. I will not put up with anymore of the “Good Lord, you look like an anorexic chicken!”

Come to think of it, this may not be my most embarrassing picture.

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