Ah, those good old Cape May days… by Jackson D’Catur
I remember my days as a football star, as quarterback with the Cape May Cocks. Our colors were red and gold, and our emblem a strutting, erect cockerel, embodying our fair citizens’ chief attributes of pride, an excess of self-confidence and an endless delight in hearing our own voices.
In those days, of course, we didn’t wear padding, and so keen were we to showcase the sport’s Olympian attributes that we also frequently discarded our uniforms midway through the game. Ah, the sight of all those cocks on one pitch used to have women fainting away and grown men pointing and staring.
Our balls then were also different from now: they were heavier, for a start, to build muscle and discourage cissies. The average weight of one was around 100lbs, and when thrown by a star like myself, could easily break the sound barrier and when landing, scatter sods and bodyparts for 100 yards in every direction.
Of course, kicking them was a rather painful experience, but it didn’t deter us in the least – what is a broken toe or dozen to worry about? This I often asked the bruised and battered, yet still proud cocks during timeouts.
We used to practice every morning as the sun came up, fueled by coffee, cigarettes and some hired strumpets whom I bussed in from Atlantic City. And when a player suffered a minor injury, such as a heart attack or severed limb, I used to give him a sip from my silver hip flask, which was filled with morphine.
We were, of course, unbeatable, and in time no local teams would play us. So we took to the road and toured the world, playing all comers. We would show up in a town, line up the cocks to taunt the local lads, place a wager on the outcome and clean up.
By the time we left the next morning, after a night of celebration at a local bar, we left the citizenry bruised, battered and unable to walk.
All good things come to an end, though: increasing rules and regulations meant that such fancy ideas as “safety” and “a wish to finish a game without a fatality on the pitch” came into vogue and killed the spirit of the sport.
I had a final showdown with the governing body, who had the nerve to suggest we comply. I had had enough and snapped, shouting to them, “I will take my cocks and shove them right up your”… oh, here’s Kitchener with my evening whisky… I will finish the anecdote later, dear hearts…