Too Early To Say Bye

place. The pads are donned; the "uni" is fresh and pressed. Helmets and shoes shined and everything on your body has been taped, repaired or numbed. It's Showtime. 

1981 NFC Championship game vs. the 49ers at Candlestick Park: 

D. D. and I, dressed in our suits, took a limo from our hotel to the stadium, and directed it into the player's parking lot that leads into both SF's and the visiting team's locker rooms. As we were taking care of our limo driver, D. D. and I both witnessed a taxi drive up into the same lot. 

As the back door flew open, it took a while for the passenger to climb out. We watched intently as his first foot landed on the cement. He had on steel tipped football cleats. The second leg swung around with the same cleats on that foot also.  

Trying to stand, those cleats made him slip a little as he struggled to get out of the back seat. It was hard to negotiate. We looked closer and recognized the red-and-gold color combination of the 49ers. This guy was in full uniform! It's over three-and-a-half hours until kickoff!  

Jack "Hacksaw" Reynolds, Middle Linebacker, wore shoulder pads with a neck brace, elbow pads, taped ankles and wrist bands. His helmet was on with the chinstrap buttoned, and with a large glob of eye black on his cheeks. 

He turned and got eye contact with us. Then he bent down and flexed. With a crazy look in his eyes, through his mouth guard, Hacksaw exploded in a spit-and-foam raucous roar! Aaaaaarghargh!  

All of this and we don't play for close to 4 hours.  

D. D., with perfect timing and deadpan delivery, turns to me and proclaimed, "Now . . . this guy is ready!" 

The Cowboys have two weeks before they engage again. If it were up to me, they'd play every seven days. Our bodies love rhythms. One great benefit, though, is that T.O. will have those seven extra days for healing. The Cowboys will be ready.                           

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