When i was in college, my dad told me every fall that it would be great if we could play touch football together. he had been playing touch football for 25 or so years and as a kid, i spent many a fall on the sidelines of his touch games (usually playing the sideline catch game with other kids). when i graduated college, i did not play tackle football for the first time in 14 years that first fall… but following in daddy’s footsteps, i played touch. fact: fall of 2002, i played in 3 different leagues, coached HS football and worked out religiously… it was football, football, football (aka wonderful). while i missed the tackle, the touch leagues did help me out the following year when i stumbled across a couple semi-pro leagues in the area… but that story is for another time. i was going to just play in one league with a group of buddies from HS that fall, when my dad said “you’re playing with us”. i didn’t think that a bad idea, cuz the team my dad played for had won the class A state championship the two years prior.
before those two championships, my dad had played in over 30 state tournaments for touch football and had never won the class A – he’d been on a couple teams that had won class B and C, but never class A. i come into the picture and my first year, we win the state class A championship in a perfect tournament. we won first two games on saturday and then two games on sunday – we collect our hardware and celebrate our victories. it was during that celebration my dad gave me and another guy (new to the team and touch football scene) a bunch of crap. “it took me 25 years to win my first state championship, and you guys come in and win in your first year!” he joked.
it was good times, i’ve played in the state tournament ever year since 2002 (simple math will tell you that’s 8). we won it all the first 5 years i played; in fact, i hadn’t lost a game in the tournament in those first 5 years. we won two on saturday, won two on sunday, collected our hardware and went to celebrate! we had what some might call a dynasty in the world of touch football in the state of minnesota.
the team had won a national touch championship in 2001 as well (when i was still in college). and in 2002 we went to florida and tried to play in a national flag tournament. having no ranking points (because we had never played a down of flag), we were the lowest seeded team going in and got spanked first game by a powerhouse and obviously highly ranked squad. we took those lumps, learned from the beating and came back the next day to win 5 games before losing to another really good team – we finished 5th in the tournament. not too bad for a “bunch of guys from minnesota that don’t know how to play football” as we were called by a team that we beat.
in 2006, one of the teams complained and requested that the rules be changed because we had won so many times. by losing our first game in 7 years, we ended up winning a pseudo championship given that year (it was a convoluted bunch of crap that turned a double elimination tournament into a joke). in 2007, we placed 2nd… losing in the championship game. last year, we again lost in the championship game.
i thought that was the end. the team, while picking up an occasional player every year, was still the same group of guys for the most part and they’re getting on in years. our quarterback and my dad are both well over 50 years old. then, in the latter part of this summer… my dad calls me up and says, we’re playing again – one last time. a couple guys who hadn’t played in a couple years said they were going to come back and play one more year. so i was in (with the permission of the wife, of course).
2009 State Touch Football Tournament – only 5 teams signed up. two were fairly unknown and two we knew very well. game one: we win in style 26-6. game two: we win in style: 34-6. and sunday we could play only one game before we collect our hardware and celebrate! we play the team we beat the first game. a team i LOVE to beat with quarterback who i LOVE to sack. and we pull it out winning 21-20. we’re back on top baby!
and i think this is where the story ends. while i’d love to keep playing, i can’t justify driving an hour on a tuesday night (or an hour and half on a thursday night) to play one game. especially when we’re saving up to build a house in a year or two. plus, i think our team is going to be missing some key components, my dad and our qb say they’re done (like they have the last 3 or 4 years)… i love playing and the guys on our team are great guys, which makes the wins and championships so much more fun. at this point in time, we’re done. come next july/august… well, we’ll see.