Tales From the Dad Side – The Time I Nearly Broke My Own Nose Playing Football with My Son
A little reminder why being a professional athlete was never in the cards for me.
This past Sunday was a pretty mild day by January standards. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, a temperature around 50 degrees. All in all a pretty nice day. My 9-year-old son, looking to take advantage of the situation, asked if we could go out and throw the football around the yard. Despite my desire to stay in the house and watch the NFL playoff games, I took him up on the offer, and out we went.
We tossed the ball back and forth for a few minutes before I suggested to him that we practice him throwing to a moving receiver instead of a stationary one to get him used to the idea of an actual game situation should the day come where he gets to be the quarterback for his team.
First up, a quick slant route where the receiver (me) takes a step or two forward then cuts diagonally across the field. A route that requires precise timing to work effectively, the goal being to throw the ball out in front of the receiver so he can catch it in stride without slowing down.
Before the first attempt, I told him he'll want to throw it toward the center of the field as soon as I plant my foot and make the turn inward. If timed right, my momentum going forward will meet the ball there. We line up with me to his right. He barks out, "ready, set, hike!" and off I go.
I took my two steps, and turned to make the cut, turning my head towards him in the process to see where the ball is, and see where the ball was I did.
Whether it was a nerves, or a misunderstanding of the instructions, I'm not sure, he threw to me WAY to early. As I turned my head to look for the ball, I saw it about two inches away from my left eye. In an effort to 1) make the catch (you have to look good in front of your kid, you know), and 2) not get hit in the freakin' eye by a football, my reflexes kicked in, causing my hands to cross quickly in front of my face, during which my extended right thumb made solid contact with my nose. Not glancing blow across the tip mind you, but a full-fledged, straight-into-my-into-my-nostril-with-every-ounce-of-my-weight -behind-it smack.
As you know if you've ever been hit in the nose, there is very little give to this particular part of your face. You may be able to somewhat bend it from side-to-side, or up-and-down, but only so far. Oh, and it hurts like hell.
The force and upward direction I managed to hit myself with was so intense, I was shocked to find no blood gushing down my face, or the bridge of my nose knocked out of kilter one way or the other through the tears in my eyes that always follow a good shot to the schnoz.
After a brief (and necessary) time out in the action, we resumed our practice without incident. However, even today, a full two days since it happened, my nose and the roof of my mouth are still sore, making blowing my nose more painful than normal.
Have you hurt yourself in a stupid way? If you're comfortable sharing it, pop it in the comments below and I'll share it in a future post here on the site.