Chapter 2 - And Now I'm Screwed
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” I shove my hands in my hair and pull. I was so screwed.
I put down a marker for thirty five hundred dollars. I was expecting to win and come out with more than ten grand. I had at most twenty five hundred dollars tucked away for bills.
As an active player for the team, it was against guidelines for me to bet on the game, which is why I went to an illegal avenue to do my gambling. The guys over at the Gold Wings Casino were not people you wanted to mess with when it came to their money.
I don’t even bother to watch the field as the coaches and the rest of the team try and help the injured all-American quarterback off the ground. I had bigger fucking problems to deal with. One, in particular, was how I was going to flip it so I would be able to get out of the bet I made with the owners of the Gold Wings. I’ve never had to do something like this.
I dig through my game bag and pull out the simple pay-per-use cell I keep for emergencies. I dial the mainline to the casino but before I can get through, Coach Derek, the offensive coordinator, is yelling in my face.
“What the hell are you doing, boy? Get your stuff together.”
I hang up the phone and stare at the coach like he has lost his mind.
“Coach, what are you talking about? I’m third string remember? Lionel is up now.”
“No, Lionel is on suspension. He’s not playing this semester. The memo went out last week. Maybe you should pay more attention to what the hell is going on, Colt. Get your helmet and your wristband. You’re in.”
I blink at the man a few times, just waiting for him or someone from the team to start laughing. There is no way that this is actually happening. I’m the third-string quarterback. I’ve barely practiced with the team, let alone played in a game.
“Let’s move, boy!” Coach Derek yells again. This is serious. I’m going to have to play. Fucking hell, I don’t have time for this shit.
I toss my phone back in my bag and grab my lid. There’s still six minutes left in the third quarter, and we are down by seven. Frederick is being carted off the field, so the likelihood of him coming back in this game is very slim. I guess the only saving grace I have right now is this is only a pre-season game. It doesn’t really mean anything in the long run.
Coach Mike calls me over and tells me that he wants me to run the X-Blue 19 package. I hear the words that are coming out of his mouth, but honestly, it all sounds like a different language.
I don’t know the plays. I should, but I’ve been riding the bench since I got on the team last year. I never once thought I would be tossed into the game with no notice.
I run over to the huddle, and everyone is cursing and arguing amongst themselves. Frederick might have been a cocky asshole, but he is our best chance at winning the championship. To see him go down like that is really messing with a lot of people’s heads.
“You fucking piece of shit. You were supposed to hold your block. What good are you if you don’t know your assignment.” Maddox, the center and the team captain, shoves Leo, the running back.
“Get out of here with that shit. I held my block. This is on you, Maddox.”
“Uh, hey . . .” I step into the huddle and try to get everyone’s attention. The time out is finished and we need to get ready for the next play.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
“I’m QB,” I say, just as surprised as they are.
“Fucking great. Look, greenhorn, just hand the ball off. Don’t try to be a hero,” Leo speaks out.
“Don’t have time to be no one’s hero, nor do I want to be. I’m going to run the plays coach tells me to run. On two.” I don’t even properly break the huddle. Just let them know that the ball is going to be snapped on two and go to my spot a few yards behind the line of scrimmage.
My mind is going a million miles a minute, but honestly, none of it is about what is going on right in front of me. I couldn’t care less about the outcome of this game or the rest of the people on this team. With Frederick going down and me basically forfeiting this bet, I didn’t have enough money to keep us afloat. Shit was about to get really bad.
I call out the cadence and I hear the line in front of me complaining. I should be paying attention, but I don’t.
“Change that shit! Now!” Maddox’s deep voice jerks me out of my daydream. I scan the field, but I don’t see what he sees because I don’t know the fucking play. I have yet to look at my play card. If I don’t hike the ball, it’ll be a delay of game, and we’ll lose yards.
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
I call for the ball and I see the tight end and two eligible receivers take off downfield. I called a deep play.
The line does a shit job of keeping the defense sealed, I turn to the left and just let the ball fly. It’s nowhere near any of my receivers, but at least I won’t have a reason to get drilled into the ground.
From that moment on, disaster turned into hell as I lead the team from being down only seven to losing by a whopping thirty-two points.
Talk about a memorable start to my college football career.