It’s All Fun And Games, But Two-Hand Touch Football Can Still Be Pretty Dangerous


Come on, get up, you’re all right, you didn’t fall that hard, just try and put some weight on it, I’m sure you’ll … ooh, you know what? Don’t put any more weight on it. Just give it a minute, I think that’s the body’s natural response to an impact, swelling, even if nothing’s broken, especially when nothing’s broken, because if there wasn’t any swelling, well, then you’d be in trouble, that’s when I’d start to worry. Maybe you’d be dead. You never see swelling on a dead person. Just a lot of bloat, which is totally different.

Nope, a fair amount of deep purple swelling is biology’s way of telling you, OK, you took a little bit of a tumble, but just let me rush a whole bunch of antibodies and natural painkillers to the affected site and … listen, I don’t even think you hit the ground that hard, I mean, you’ll be on your feet in a minute. Maybe two minutes. Just give it five minutes.

I didn’t hit you that hard. I know we were playing two-hand touch, it’s just … you know, heat of the moment, animal instincts take over and SLAM! You see? I’m getting all riled up just thinking about it, which is perfectly natural, that’s my physiology still reacting, still preparing for more reactions, I’ve got so much adrenaline still coursing through my system, I feel like I could take down everybody here. Does anybody else want a piece of this? What are you looking at, huh? He’s fine. Just give him some room to breathe, Jesus.

You know it’s because I used to play in high school, you know that, right? Some things cannot be unlearned, and to be perfectly fair here, you were coming at me pretty aggressively, way too cocky for a guy who still had a former varsity lineman to get through before crossing to the end zone. I know it’s a friendly game and everything, but I’m not just going to let you win.

Does anybody have any ice? Just … when you get home, fill up the tub with ice and stay in there for an hour, two hours, and when it melts, just get the Mrs. to fill it up with even more ice, nice and ice cold. I guarantee you that the swelling will … holy shit, is that bone? No, that’s not bone. That couldn’t be bone. Bone doesn’t come out that way. I totally, absolutely did not hit you hard enough for that to be bone.

Motherfucker … well, that could have just been a really awkward landing. On your part, I’m saying. You know, because you’re a runner, right? I’d bet you anything that you had one of those stress fractures. Have you been feeling any shin pain lately? Like shin splints? Because that’s like a micro break right there, like all it takes is the slightest amount of pressure in just the right spot and, CRACK! That’s what I’m betting … I’m pretty sure that … there’s no way I could have.

Look, I can reset that, I think I actually have to. I took half of a lifeguarding course like ten years ago and … I’m serious man, that thing has got to be reset. We’re looking at permanent lifetime damage, like a limp, maybe a prosthetic, if that bone starts to heal without being properly aligned. That’s nature man, you don’t understand the resilience of the human body, almost to a fault, like the second you go down … remember I was talking about those antibodies? The swelling? Well it is a good sign, normally.

And even though I’m pretty sure your legs were in bad shape coming in here, I do feel somewhat responsible. When you run, do you strike with your heel or with your toe? Because heel striking, or toe striking, I can’t remember, but one of those is really hard on the shins. Didn’t you think about any of this before you took to the field? Don’t you have kids? Playing on a team against a former two-time county starting lineman? It’s like those guys who run with bulls over in Spain, nobody thinks they’ll be the one going down, getting trampled, gored, and no one wants to see that happen, but when it does, you don’t ever hear anybody blaming the bull. Am I right?

But still, we’ve got to get that bone set. Just, stop struggling. I know it hurts, don’t worry, I’ll bring over lots of ice for that ice bath, that’s going to be one of the coldest ice baths you’ve ever taken. You won’t even be able to feel any of this pain. Just, stop, just … somebody hold him down. Jesus! I’ve got to do everything …

Well, he wouldn’t stop struggling. This’ll be much easier now that he’s knocked out. There we go, just like that and … oh. Oh God. That’s even worse. And why is it all of the sudden bleeding now? You know, I think we should call an ambulance. I think … I think we should call his wife. Just … you guys saw all that, right? I was trying, like the Good Samaritan. Like Good Samaritan laws, they exist, right? That’s a thing, right? Because I was just trying my best. I swear, I didn’t know he had such weak shins. I think he’ll be OK. We just have to wake him up, just slap him around a little bit, we’ve just got to get his eyes open, Larry, come on man, listen up, Larry, get up bro, come on. HEY LARRY! WAKE UP! LARRY!