Friday, October 23, 2020

Home-field advantage: Scrambling

It had been 9 years since Frank Tarkenton had last quarterbacked for his high school football team back in Minnesota.

Life had been so full of promise back then. Frank was a rangy 6’-4” tall, quick on his feet and smart. He could throw the ball like a rifle-bullet.

None of the big schools were interested in him. Frank blamed his team-mates. The team just couldn’t seem to put enough “W”s up each season to attract scouting interest.

Frank had sulked through life, bitter and cynical until the Marxists found him. After that, his life had purpose.

Sheer habit is what caused him to keep his ball-chucker pointed down, masked by his thigh. Habit from his years of quarter-backing had him scooting “out of the pocket” after launching his missiles and faking the run to pull defenders.

Frank wasn't there by the time the water-cannon had drilled through the crowd.

He was the quickest on the uptake when the water cannons started searching out and whacking the ball-chuckers.

Frank adapted by launching from different points. He would scoop up a missile from a wagon, dash to the line while winding up and throwing. Then, immediately after his follow through, he would duck down below the crowd and scurry away from the searching jet of water.

Frank was tearing them up.

His arm was not quite as strong as when he was 18 nor was he quite as quick. But he was plenty accurate and the ball-chucker gave him velocity way beyond what he had ever been able to achieve when throwing the pig-skin.

The guys on the water cannons had just the quickest glimpses of “the tall guy” and a flash of the orange ball-chucker before one of the cast, concrete missiles came rocketing in.

Alex cursed the fact that he had not thought to provide the water cannon with protective shields.

“Quick!” Alex said, grabbing the closest man. “We need to get something in front of the guys on the water cannons.”

The best the man could come up with were tailgates from the pickup trucks. It was a piss-poor solution. “Extras” attempted to hold them up as shields but Frank’s missiles came in so fast and so flat it was difficult to hold the heavy tailgates in a position that provided protection without obscuring the water cannon operator’s vision.

Seeing what was going on, Frank started targeting the men trying to hold the tailgates. It was not pretty.

Losing water-cannons re-energized the rioters. Ethan was able to get them turned back on and swarming the barriers.

One of the rioters found a section of tangle-foot that was not staked to the ground or shackled on one side. Such is the nature of working in the dark. He pulled it up and flipped it over, onto the adjacent prefabbed tangle-foot section.

The rioters surged through the ten-foot gap in the tangle-foot and started pushing against the fence.

Alex called his precision shooters on the roof of the high school.

“I could use a little bit of help down here” Alex said.

“Want us to start dumping people?” Darryl asked.

Alex was tempted. Very tempted.

“No, what I really want is for you to “pattern” the asshole who is tearing up the men on the water-cannons.”

Lawton overheard the conversation because Alex had communicated on the precision shooter’s common channel rather than directly to Darryl.

“I got that” Lawton said.

Frank had been weaving through Lawton’s sector. Lawton’s sector was slow. He nailed a few arsonists and then the mist from the water-cannon had prevented any others from lighting up more.

From his over-view, Lawton radioed Alex “Stand next to the second water-cannon from the north.”

When Alex was there, Lawton said “Can you see the rioter near the back of the crowd wearing the pink hoodie?”

It took Alex a few seconds to find him. “Yup, I see the guy.”

“When I say ‘NOW’ have the guy on the water-cannon lift his jet to hit the gap just to the left of the guy with the pink hoodie” Lawton said.

“To the water-cannon’s left or the pink-hoodie’s left?” Alex asked for clarification. Left depends on which way you are looking.

“To the NORTH of the guy in the pink-hoodie...but close enough to brush him” Lawton said.

Lawton followed Frank with his scope. He saw him launch two missiles from other places along the back edge of the crowd. Then he saw him glide toward the wagon closest to the pink-hoodie guy.

“Get ready...” Lawton transmitted.

Lawton figured it would take at least a second for the jet of water to cover the distance from the muzzle of the cannon and where he expected Frank to launch the missile from.

Frank kept the missile covered with his left hand as he started into his running-wind-up.

“NOW!” Lawton said loudly enough to startle the other two shooters on the high school roof.

Frank stood up, face-on into the jet of water that suddenly appeared. It had opened up slightly as it covered the distance.

It rocked Frank’s head back and the high pressure water crammed up his nostrils and into his mouth. It created excruciating pressure in his sinuses.

What Frank could not know is that he had been scouted by both Division I and Division II universities. Scouting is labor intensive and most of it is done by game films.

Had Frank been able to read any of the scouting notes on him, he would have read “Great team. Should have won more games. QB: Good athletic potential. Cannot take a hit” 



  1. Scouting report on Senator Joe Biden- "Cannot take a hit.".

  2. Hopefully it'll blow Frank's sinuses to hell. All that vascular tissue, just ready to bleed like a stuck pig.

    Good one.



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