Under Pressure

My university rugby coach was the head of the English Department. He was a published author and wrote poetry.

My favourite expression of his was, Charge forth with reckless abandon. He often used words we didn’t understand but we always knew his meaning.

One spring, we were getting ready for the club’s annual tour to the U.S. On this particular occasion we were practicing in the gym. We were doing a passing drill. After the last guy in the line received the ball, he was to run it over and place it on the floor near the scrum half.

After running the drill a number of times, the last guy in the line decided rather than run the ball over, he would kick it. The ball sailed across the gym and hit the coach in the head. His glasses flew off, hit the floor and spun toward me. Everyone froze.

I thought to myself, He is going to make the guy feel this big (picture my thumb and forefinger about an inch apart) using words this big (picture my hands outstretched).

I picked up his glasses and handed them to him. He put them on. He looked at the guilty player. He finally spoke.

Don’t do it again, F*** Face.”

F*** Face? Really? Nice alliteration, but F*** Face? I could come up with that.

I guess under pressure he reverted to his inner rugby.

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