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Up the Fiddle


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Not sure this belongs here and some may say it doesn't belong anywhere, but what the heck. I am a product of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. I grew up in San Benito, but at mid-term of my Freshman year, we moved to bitter rival Harlingen.  Two and a half years later, we moved back to San Benito where I graduated.  All of this movement played havoc with my remarkably undistinguished high school football career and, in the unkindest cut of all, it precluded me from playing varsity football as a senior.


In San Benito, I was a starting tackle on the high school's first ever Freshman football team. Then, as a Sophomore in Harlingen, I was a starting tackle on the B Team. Finally, as a Junior on the Harlingen varsity, the coach moved me to halfback, because I really wasn't big enough to play a line position anymore, but I had decent speed. I had never played a backfield position before and there was a boat load of experienced runners in front of me.  So, I was a bench warmer, doing mop up duty in blowout games such as our 61 - 0 win over Corpus Christi Carroll High School where I scored my only high school football touchdown.


Late in that game, we had the ball on the Carroll three yard line and our quarterback called a simple straight ahead dive play where I would take the handoff, run to daylight, and hopefully, score. As we lined up to run the play, our right guard turned around, pointed back at the defender in front of him, and yelled at me, “Which way do you want me I take this guy?”  Trying to match his bravado, I yelled back “I don't care”.  Even though the entire Carroll defense heard that exchange, the play worked flawlessly.  I ran untouched into the end zone with the game's next to last score.


Now, here is the kicker. The next day's Valley Morning Star newspaper reported my one and only moment of high school varsity football “glory” with a misprint that said I scored on a three yard burst “up the fiddle”. Of course, it should have said middle, but at least they got my name right. 


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