That early day of August past,

With head hung low I looked to see

The other men-who-soon-would-be;

Here, as me, to be sized up.

 

 

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Wing Right, Sweep Right

 

That early day of August past,

With head hung low I looked to see

The other men-who-soon-would-be;

Here, as me, to be sized up.

I glanced, as I sat on a bench

Glazed with shellac to keep it new,

At one who looked as tough as any nail

I might step on.

He stared back my way and told me with his eyes

That he knew how bad he looked;

And I still waited in line on the bench,

Not wanting to miss my name when it was called;

J-aeger pronounced Coach Luke because

We couldn't pronounce his last name.

Here, put this one on, he ordered,

And make sure it's snug;

But it was too snug, so I looked for another

Helmet that might fit better.

I grabbed a girdle as we called them, with pads

To place in five pockets; and were-white pants

With even more pads and a belt hard to run through,

But I didn't need a hanger.

I recognized a face and nodded

In respect to the rib protectors, Coach Luke

Said, only backs and ends need them.

But we should all have them, along with

A lock issued by Coach Connors, who

Spoke in such a strange language,

So Southern, so warm, so raspy.

Old Mr. Schulteis had for us practice jerseys

To be worn over shoulder pads

That smelled quite a bit like whoever

Wore them last year.

Though new, undressing was not difficult to do

Because we had to,

And only a fool would've refused and I

Was no fool this day in August,

But I was scared.

Sean Zebrowski was the last to be called

And we all were slowly stripping

Nearly naked, some were soft and fat,

While others remained thin and some even had

Unused muscle to be tested.

Never do men-to-be look at each other with such wonder

As this Freshman day in the locker-room,

Wanting to see who might be better or bigger

Or just uglier in our brand new

Uniforms.