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Better late than never

POSTED August 14, 2009 9:33 p.m.
If you played sports in high school, you have relieved, recounted and regretted what happen years ago.
I’m like this.
Somewhat.
My favorite movie character is Uncle Rico from “Napoleon Dynamite,” the guy who we loved to hate because he was so honestly funny. He played high school football in the 1980s and recounted his glory days to anyone within earshot. He perhaps reminded you of a friend or relative. Or yourself.
What separates myself from Uncle Rico, however, is that I don’t have any glory days to remember. I was a benchwarmer in high school, the one who sat by the water bottles. I’m not in love with the rearview mirror because there is nothing spectacular to do in my past except get water for people.
I just wish the past was a little more memorable.
That is why I want to recount last weekend at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County — my proudest day of athletics. I write this with a touch of sarcasm: It’s always nice to poke fun at the writer to see what oozes out.
It was family day at the beach for me last weekend, which also featured a family friend. We brought along a football and I packed a pair of running shoes, just in case I had the urge to jog. My teenaged nephews and our family friend started throwing around the football on the sand, running this way and that way to catch the slow, floating pigskin.
After the leisure game of football and a hearty meal, we walked to the basketball court near the beach. One of my nephews said a group of guys were playing and he wanted to get a game going. I said sure, and my nephew proceeded to wake up the family friend, who’s my age, from his nap.
But this wasn’t going to be easy. My friend and I didn’t have proper footwear. I lent my nephew my running shoes. Yes, we played barefooted, but we won. Somehow.
Later, a group of high school kids — built like Greek gods — challenged us to beach football. And somehow, we won again in a 9-8 overtime thriller (each touchdown was worth a point).
My friend and I were extremely happy.
You see this all the time: People trying to relive or make up for their past. You see it at the recreation center’s basketball court and other places of redemption.
And I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. We all would like a do-over of something. That’s why there are second-chance proms and high school reunions.
At the same time, we can laugh at ourselves. Uncle Rico allowed us to do that.
Let’s just hope it doesn’t go to our heads.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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