Posts Tagged ‘football’

Super Bowl Week (More)


February 10th, 2023 Posted 7:42 am

Football comes up from time to time in my work, going all the way back to Hard Rain, and it’s central to the plot of Reality Check, my YA novel that won an Edgar award. There’s also football in the Chet and Bernie series – in Bark To The Future, the most recent C&B, and in Heart of Barkness, where this is from, to cite two examples.

We walked onto the field, mostly dirt with tufts of grass here and there. Coach Flowers had moved out from between the two rows of players, now stood to the side. We stopped nearby. Coach Flowers put the whistle in his mouth, sort of nudging the stogie to one side, and talked around them.

“On the whistle, potato heads. Not before, not after. All set?”

He blew the whistle, a sound I hate, but at least I’d known it was coming. The two rows charged each other, thumping together with lots of grunts and shouts, none of the shouts actual words, more like the kind of noise you hear on Animal Planet. The kids finished knocking each other around, picked themselves up, dusted themselves off.

“What the heck?” said Coach Flowers. Or something like that – he wasn’t easy to understand with the whistle and stogie in his mouth. “Call that hitting? Don’t look like hitting to me. Looked like hugging your sister.”

One of the kids said, “I’m a sister, coach.”

Coach Flowers turned to her. “Did I ask for your opinion, Taneeka?”

“Not yet, coach.”

“Take a lap.”


Football Week (Cont’d)


February 8th, 2023 Posted 7:28 am

“Ever seriously hurt anyone?”

Florian thought. “Only in football.”

“You played football?”

“Just Pop Warner. I got tackled on the sideline and fell on some old lady’s leg. Busted in three places – she screamed something awful.”

Bernie rubbed his hands together, always a sign we were getting somewhere. Were we about to close the case right here and now? If so, would that mean I’d have to grab Florian by the pant leg? He was already locked up in Central State Correctional and wearing an orange jumpsuit. I got a bit confused.


Football Week (Cont’d)


February 7th, 2023 Posted 8:03 am

They were talking about sports? Sports: maybe the best idea humans ever came up with, in my opinion. Back when we were on the football case, I actually got into a real game! Bernie and I were right on the sideline, on account of we had to stay close to the blackmailer – it’s all coming back to me now, love when that happens – who turned out to be the assistant coach, yes, right on the sideline, close up to the action, when a punt happened, one of those punts down deep, whatever that means, but it’s the expression Bernie uses and he really knows football – played in high school, but dropped it when he went to West Point so he could concentrate on baseball – but forget that part, the point being that on the down deep punt the receiver stays away from the ball in the hope that it goes into the end zone, wherever that is, and meanwhile the other team tries to corral the ball, and footballs bounce in a crazy way, and when I see something crazy like that –


Pigskin and Us


February 6th, 2023 Posted 8:23 am

Football was mentioned yesterday. Football comes up from time to time in my work – in the Chet and Bernie series and elsewhere. This seems like a good week to check out some of that writing. The Americans reading this will know why. Those outside the country might want to google “Super Bowl.” Below, from Heart of Barkness (for newcomers, the narrator of C&B is Chet, a dog – but not a talking dog! Bernie is the private eye):
“What are we going to do if Charlie wants to play football?” Bernie said.
Buy him a football: that was my only idea. I was thinking about the big problem with football – namely the unwieldiness of the ball, which you need to deflate a bit to get it properly in your mouth – when we pulled into one of the playing field complexes we have in the Valley, not the fancy kind with the unreal grass and shady trees, but the other kind with mostly no grass and no trees. Out on the fields, kids – some little, some not quite as little – were practicing football. Practicing means the coaches are out on the field yelling things. In games, the coaches yell from the sidelines.
“Any chance you’d prefer to stay in the car?” Bernie said. “Maybe grab a few zzzs?”
What was that? Something about the car? I was already some distance away and had missed most of it.
“Okay, then,” Bernie said. “Best behavior.”
But of course! What other kind was there?

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