I've always wanted to play football professionally but there were some crazy regulations that changed my mind.
For example, you had to be willing to get hit. You had to work out and run a lot. You had to dedicate time learning complicated plays.
Those three reasons were enough to keep me out.
Oh wait, there was another rule: You had to possess — at minimum — a shred of football talent.
Because of my unfulfilled desire to play, I was really rooting for the athletes who gathered this week for the ProGrass Scout Bowl to get noticed by scouts.
I also sort of hoped a scout would notice me and give me a shot.
And I'd have a serious shot because I have a unique ability that nobody else who played in Friday night's game can boast about.
That's right: I would be a valuable kicker.
Oh, not your normal kicker. No, those guys make the football go far.
But there is one aspect of the game that I excel at, even more so than NFL kickers: the onside kick.
For background purposes, an onside kick is an effort to kick the ball so that it bounces around and only travels a short distance — so short that the kicking team has a chance to recover it before the receiving team.
Typically, the maneuver is attempted when the kickoff team is behind late in the game and desperate to get the ball back.
That's where I'd come in. The coach would call me over at that point in the game.
Coach: "OK, Delinski, we need an onside — I mean — we need you to kick the ball as far and accurately as possible. I mean really lay that foot into it."
Me: "Thanks, coach!"
As I run onto the field, a player standing near the coach looks bewildered.
Bewildered player: "Coach, why do you want to kick the ball as far as possible? Don't we need a little, dinky onside kick that would bounce goofily around and barely go 10 yards."
Coach: "Just watch."
Just then, I charge the ball with all the passion of Charlie Brown racing after one being held by Lucy.
You see, I can't kick that ball worth anything. So what would happen is, it would, in the player's words, "bounce goofily around and barely go 10 yards."
We'd recover, and I'd be a hero, hoisted atop my teammates' shoulders, wondering why they are so excited about such a lousy kick.
Later, I'd learn the coach's strategy and just play along.
"Yep," I'd say during the postgame news conference, "it was tough to do, what with my incredible leg and all, but I was able to hold back my strength so the ball would just barely go 10 yards. And did you notice the way I made it bounce goofily around and barely go 10 yards? Yeah, that was all me.
"Call it a gift."