The World Begins
By ice rivers
Hold the phone.
Back in the Chris Schenkel days when baseball was still the national past time, a few of us used to gather on Sundays to watch the NFL.
One day we watched the big bang occur right before our amazed eyes.
Fran Tarkenton was known as the scrambler. He would abandon the pocket and "scramble" around the backfield until he found an open receiver or he would tuck the football under his arm and scamper.
Fran had just made another of his amazing scrambles. It looked for sure that he would be tackled for a loss several times. Through his scrambling ability combined with the mobility of his blockers, Fran somehow found the time to look way down field. He launched a pass and the rainbow came down in the hands of a receiver, maybe Del Shofner but don't quote me. Del made an unbelievable reception. While the ball was in the air....Chris Schenkel made the call..."Hold the phone" followed by "Touchdown".
It was truly a remarkable play.
More remarkable was the technical acheivement that was about to happen.
Some genius in the truck noticed that the play was caught on the miracle of video-tape. If they re-wound the tape, they could play it again.
Meanwhile, my buddy had to use the bathroom.
While my buddy was stealing a mirror, Chris explained the idea...the concept of video tape replay.
We watched, astonished, as the first replay hit the air.
Meanwhile my buddy emerged from the john just as they decided to replay the replay as it was clear that something was happening here and we were all finding out what it was.
Now my buddy, who hated Tarkenton because he was a scrambler, assumed his position in front of the tube and asked "did anything happen"
I realized the opportunity and said "there was a turnover. Tarkenton's got the ball again.
Once again, the network replayed the replay of the replay.
My buddy started making the commentary as Fran scrambled.
"There he goes again, that son of a bitch. He ought to stay in the pocket. He got saved last time by a beautiful block. Holy shit...he got the exact same block, that bastard. Don't tell me he's gonna throw again. The last time it was a miracle. It can't happen again . Shofner's open again. He caught it. God damn it all. And that son of a bitch Schenkle can shove that phone up his ass.
Meanwhile, we were lal trying to stifle our laughter.
Then we exploded as one.
"What? What?" my buddy wondered aloud.
We tried to explain but through our laughter we did a real bad job.
He was so pissed off, he exited through the front door and slammed it on the way out.
And thus was born the video tape replay...a thing of wonder at the time....a moment that started football past baseball and has led to the carnival of the Super Bowl and possibly Donald Trump.
America has become a television show and our elections are second in popularity.
Right behind football.
Hold the phone.