Fourth And Goal Part II: Helpless

My Day Two BeKindRewrite submission.

Deb Coleman had been a coach’s wife for thirty years, and regardless of how much time passed, it never seemed to get any easier to watch her husband’s team. People often though that the hardest part of being married to a coach was the time apart from her husband, but that was something she’d always been able to deal with; the real difficulty was in watching him place his future in the hands of 18 to 22 year old boys. His career depended on winning the right games by the right margins and impressing the boosters who had the most money. Into the middle of that mix came 85 players who were, for all intents and purposes, still boys.  They made stupid mistakes, got distracted and handled pressure entirely differently than people even a few years their senior, and that ultimately reflected on her husband.  Now as time ticked down, he had nine seconds to submit to destiny’s whim. If the play worked and they advanced to the semifinals, her husband would be a hero. If they lost, he would have to endure the wrath of the fans, who seemed to forget that, when things went wrong, he was still a human being. Deb remembered with equal measures of pain and anger the look on his face when he awoke the morning after a heartbreaking loss to find his car egged and “you suck” written on the windshield in shaving cream. If her love could overcome adversity for her husband, he’d never lose a game; helplessness came, however, when she realized all she could do was hold her breath and wait for the play to unfold…

(word count- 277….holy hell, I’m getting more long winded….)

12 thoughts on “Fourth And Goal Part II: Helpless

  1. Despite having next to no interest in football, I find this absolutely fascinating. Probably because it focuses on the emotions related to the game. Deb’s perspective feels so real. I never thought about how tough life could be for a college football coach, but now I can see how intense the pressure would be, everyone expecting you to turn a bunch of yahoos into professionals. And the money riding on every game…wow. Way to give me a new perspective!

    • Well I have a completely different perspective than most because my husband is a videographer for a struggling college team, so I’ve seen a lot of “insider” stuff that most people haven’t. I feel bad for any head coach’s wife who has to watch her husband struggle with a losing season…..way too much pressure involved. That’s why I’m glad Bill isn’t a coach.

  2. Go for it! Rack up that word count! I like how much of a contrast there was between yesterday and having every bit of the future resting on one’s shoulders, and today, with the entire future completely out of one’s control. Keep up the great work!

  3. The contrast is great! You conjure a very different feeling here, and a deep, but subtle emotional impact. However, I think you are still telling too much and not showing enough. As with the last piece, the real impact, even the real story, lies in those last few lines.

  4. This could be much stronger if she is IN the stands during that last touchdown, perhaps reflecting on the pressure. A lot of this could easily be cut.

    • Yeah that’s what I was going for, but then again I ahven’t done a whole lot of editing. I see edited versions of these pieces coming along in the not to distant future:)

  5. A great perspective, sadly there’s a lot of telling rather than showing, if you could work on that as part of your editing, this piece would be so much better. I love your take on this though. 🙂

    • Thanks, once again I got too involved in description. That being said, it shouldn’t be too hard to tighten it up and revise it a bit. Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it.

      • You are most welcome (I’m just getting to grips with the whole ‘show not tell’, so I know how difficult it can be to grasp).

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