This experience is a bit shorter that the other narrations, because it’s about the time in my life that I played college football. I was 6’2” tall and about 235#’s and played as a left defensive tackle.  We were taught that the way they wanted us to tackle the ball carrier was to go for the feet.

Problem was that I was taught to tackle for the legs, but I grew tired of having my hands stepped and occasionally mashed by those cleat driven football

So, several of us linemen decided that instead of focusing on the lower part of the ball carrier, that we would focus on tackling above the waist, especially the head. The logic was that if we tackled by the feet the ball carrier would try and fall forward, possible gaining the first down; BUT, if we tackled the head and dropped down, the carrier might not gain those extra few feet and that first down.

The way we wanted to execute our tackle was to attack and bear hug the opponents helmet and drop to the ground, in an attempt to crack the helmet…

The logic continued as we thought if we tackled for the feet, the ball carrier would try and fall forward just to gain a few extra feet and possibly get a first down. By tackling for the helmet, we figured we could drop the ball carrier on the spot and potentially save those extra few feet of a possible running gain.

That was the plan…

However, in this one game in particular, when executing my well executed tackle(s), my solitary middle finger got firmly entrapped into the ear-hole of the ball carrying quarterback.

The game had to be stopped so my middle finger could be carefully removed from the ear-hole, as their quarterback did not now have a helmet…

Both of the teams coaches had difficulty in removing my, now determined to be, dislocated finger from the ear hole of the quarterback’s helmet. The reason it was rapidly becoming difficult was because in this tackle my now beat-up, seriously dislocated finger was quickly swelling.

Another helmet had to be found for the quarterback so he could get back into the game.

..and, again, I was cited for a face-mask penalty, 15 yards.

I was back in the game 10 minutes later, with a carefully wrapped hand and swollen, carefully splinted finger.

The SOLUTION: In this and subsequent games, the coaches wrapped, splinted and taped my hand, and mostly my middle finger, so that my finger was much larger than any tackling player’s helmets ear hole.

Oh, the score of that game, I don’t remember exactly, but I do recall the restaurant our team stopped at after the game and the buffet we devastated. Then there was the long bus ride back to the college after dinner…