Biggest Hit Of My Life
Updated: Nov 1, 2022
Before I left for boot camp, I was able to get a semester of college and play some football in the fall of 1988. I was trying to decide whether to go to Orange Coast College (OCC) or Golden West College. Brian was going to UC Irvine to get a degree in biology before going to med school. Reza was going to go play football at OCC or Golden West. So we checked out the schools together—I was going to play wherever Reza decided to go. We both liked OCC and ultimately chose to play there. Golden West would have been a better place for us as their D-line was a “read block”-focused defense much like what we ran at Fountain Valley. OCC ran an attack a gap, “swim” every play type of front for the D-line, which we were not as familiar with. A front is used if you have smaller, quick lineman; we were fast, so once we got used to it, we dominated.
I didn’t start as a freshman but was in a rotation where I would play, and I was on all of the special teams. I love special teams because you can run full speed down the field and hit someone as hard as you possibly can. Playing at a Junior College is different than high school; the games are on Saturdays, but not too many people come out to watch the games. You play for your teammates. I have had many great hits and tackles in football, but there is one that tops them all. It was our fifth game of the season, and it was a home game at OCC. In the second half of the game, we had to punt. At the time, I ran ran a 4.9 – 40. For a lineman, that’s fast. I also had a neck roll like Howie Long, so when I hit someone, my helmet was locked into place so my head couldn’t snap back. I was like a freaking torpedo.
The punt was a high one, and I was the first one down the field. The punt returner caught the ball and had a lead blocker about five yards in front of him. I had to get through the lead blocker to get to the ball carrier. I was flying down the field. As I was coming up close to the blocker, I bent my knees and got low, almost like I was going to tackle him, but I was just going to hit him as hard as I could. There was a massive collision and sound as my helmet, and right shoulder pad made contact with his chest and facemask. He instantly started buckling backward. At the same time, I came up with the mother of all forearms, bringing it up as hard as I could. My momentum and the smashing hit instantly changed his body’s direction. Now he was airborne, flying backward. I was now looking to the ball carrier to put him out of his misery. As the football gods would have it, I hit the blocker so fiercely it launched him straight back into the ball carrier. This knocked the ball carrier on his ass, and the ball came loose, and I jumped on the ball for the fumble recovery! I celebrated with my team and will never forget the biggest hit of my life.
When you work hard for something, you never know when an opportunity will present itself. When you are ready and prepared great things can happen. You put yourself in a position to do good things, remarkable things.
When I think about how hard I worked for a game I loved I want to work that hard for God. I want to do good for God.
Here is what the bible says about this: So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain. 2 Timothy 2:1-7 MSG
Where there is no vision or hope people perish - Hope of a future produces amazing results... it drives discipline in the present! No matter what we do. So go do good!
*For more crazy stories about my life please read The Guide: A Story of Survival, Warfighting, Peacemaking.
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