The following is a fictional narrative. That means it isn’t real. It means I made it up. Deal with it.
I’m here to tell y’all about a local football legend, done gone pro a few years back, and made his momma and brothers proud. He’s the pride of our little home town here, and he talks us up as good and proper folk when he gets the chance, which ain’t often due to the Picayune Times not having real press credentials and such. Still, he speaks up when he can.
This fella’s name is James Lunkie, but we mostly just call him Jim. Jim was born of a wheat farmer and Olympic marathoner mother – humble bloodlines, don’t ya know – and had himself a proper childhood, even though things were a bit crowded in their two-room house and 16 brothers and sisters. Jim was the tenth of that lot, but outweighed his family right out of the womb at 16 lbs, 8 oz. The story goes that Jim got his slap on the behind and immediately asked what’s for breakfast.
Jim got introduced to football when he was about five years old. Already four feet tall and 120 pounds, Jim discovered he could just run in any direction and no one could stop him; not even his momma, who used to joke, “That boy done knocked me over in the hallway at least five times a day back then. Lord, he never stopped moving. He had football in his blood.” His friends thought so too, even after their mommas complained about their broken bones, hospital bills and such (one boy still can’t talk right, but Jim done gave him and his family a little something to keep that quiet after he got famous). Soon, the local peewee football folks heard about Jim and came to see him. Took ’em all of two minutes to sign Jim up, even though they weren’t sure what position he’d play.
Jim kept on playing right up through high school, where he not only played football, but baseball, basketball, and water polo too, and he got letters in every sport. But his love of knockin’ people over stayed with him the whole time, and when the colleges came a’callin, Jim decided to play football on a full ride to Eastern Central North University, ECNU for short. ECNU taught him not just how to play football better, but also to do the little, high society things, like eating with a fork and tuckin’ your shirt in! Took Jim awhile, but he eventually got the hang of it.
After all Jim’s success in college, the NFL sent scouts to watch him play and to test him and so forth. He did just fine on the physical stuff – Jim could still knock things over better than most – but his answers on the Wonderful test weren’t real good, and it sounded like some NFL teams value the Wonderful test cause it tells them who’s smart and who ain’t. They say that might’ve messed with Jim’s “draft stock”, which, regarding livestock, was something Jim used to be really good at, milkin’ cows and such. Whole thing seemed a little crazy. Anyway, Jim got invited to this thing called the Combine, where all kinds of college players like Jim show up and run drills and stuff while NFL teams watch and decide who they like best. They also do interviews to make sure a player ain’t crazy or on the wacky tobacky. Sometimes they even ask players rude things about their momma. Good thing they didn’t do that to Jim, who loves his momma with all his heart.
Jim got invited to the NFL Draft, which they only do for special players who can knock other players down, or so we were told. They flew Jim to the big city and put him up in a swanky hotel and even left the kitchen open late for him! When they finally got him to this “green room”, where the invited players have to sit until they’re drafted, Jim was already hungry and spent most of his time looking for leftover sandwiches. When his name was finally called, Jim got to walk across the stage and hug the NFL commissioner (he tripped a little on the way there and wound up knockin’ the commissioner down, but no matter).
After gettin’ drafted, Jim was given a jersey with his name and the number one on it. Jim was never number one, as his favorite number was 69, but he took it anyway just because he was so happy about bein’ there. He went on to play NFL football, and he’s done real good by most measures. So much for that Wonderful test.
That was all many moons ago, but Jim did his family right, having bought his momma a 17-bedroom house to fit her and all his brothers and sisters. He tried to buy us a new public library, but the local zoning board said no because the people here don’t read much. Still, thanks for trying, son.
So that’s Jim’s story.