What I wanted to be when I grow up.

Unlike your typical adolescent boy, I had often found myself fantasizing about being a sports announcer. Unlike the other kids at school, who wanted to become monster truck drivers and lawyers, my childhood dream job was to go to exotic locales(with professional football franchises) on a weekly basis and spending the better part of 3 hours giving play-by-play about the off-field story lines and how it leads to the on-field drama. My moist-laden microphone would have been my Rosebud and Howard Cosell was my Citizen Kane.

But sadly, my dream of being the voice of a new NFL generation died as soon as I heard the sound of my own voice mail message when I was programming my first cell phone. It was the moment I learned I could possibly have an effeminate voice. This was all happening when I was sixteen years old and still going through puberty, but the shock managed to last.

While reality slipped away in the years that followed, I still found myself thinking the “what if’ thoughts. What if I had rocked my high pitched squeal as a normal speaking voice? What if I had enrolled in the Sports Broadcasting classes in high school? What if I had pressured my mom into buying me a blazer at a younger age?

In the midst of all this self-questioning, I was able to find at least one answer. Fortunately, for my outlandish world where I decided to follow my dreams in life, it was the most important answer. The one that would have defined my career as a Sports broadcaster and would have forged my name in the stone only reserved for the greatest legends of the game. It was what my signature line would be. It was “Backdoor Charlie”.

What is a “Backdoor Charlie” you ask? ‘What isn’t a “Backdoor Charlie?”‘ would be my response with a question to that question. To give visual representation, see this video for a list of the top 10 plays in week 4 of the 2014 NFL season. Of the highlights listed, about 7 of which are certified “Backdoor Charlies” according to myself.

It would have been perfect. Week in and week out, I would narrate the plays unfold as days of preparation manifested itself into a 3 hour exhibition of strength, strategy and speed. On the rare occasions when all three aligned in harmony(or didn’t), “Backdoor Charlie” happened. Whenever people would have asked me what a Backdoor Charlie was, my response would have been incredibly vague and I would have used it at completely random times.

“Peyton Manning fakes the hand off and delivers a Backdoor Charlie to Julius Thomas.”
“Cameron Wake explodes off the snap, puts the right tackles into a Backdoor Charlie and sacks Tom Brady.”
“Christian Ponder threw a Backdoor Charlie that was intercepted by Clay Matthews.”
“Jake Locker scrambles from the pressure, and does a Backdoor Charlie to his left knee. And now he’s not getting up.”

It would have been a long con, but nothing should come easy. Not even in your own fantasies.


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