Over at Slate, former John Bapst quarterback Josh Keefe has written a stirring, thoughtful essay on his wholly unsuccessful career leading the Crusaders.
With Keefe under center, his teams went 0-23 and were, in his words, the “sacrificial lambs” of eastern Maine high school football in the early 2000s, right before Bapst football underwent a renaissance and won a state title in 2008.
The anecdotes are excellent.
“I created ironic distance between myself and my failure, as all of us Crusaders did. On the bus ride to our practice field (which was on the campus of a mental hospital) we cheered wildly at every red light and stop sign because each second we were delayed meant one fewer spent at practice.” Keefe writes. “The bus driver eventually started rolling through stop signs just to mess with us and disrupt the timing of our applause.”
Funny football foibles, though, are not Keefe’s point in dredging up decades-old musings on his quarterback play. There’s important lessons in losing, he writes, that only become known through the sharp clarity of adult hindsight.
Learning how to accept a loss, Keefe sharply notes, is a valuable skill that “shockingly all too few know how to do well.”
Keefe is a Veazie native now living and writing in Brooklyn, NY.
Find him at his site, anotherbeersalesman.com. (The title is lifted from an aside featured on rocker James McMurty’s excellent live album, Live in Aught-Three.)