No one at fault for loss, not even the damn Zebras

By Gus Bode

No one at fault for loss, not even the damn Zebras

A priest sat with his head bent back, resting against the wall in the confessional booth. It’s been so long since anyone’s last confession. No one wants to be accountable anymore, everyone wants to believe every action they take, every opportunity they spoil, was a direct result from something they did. It was never their own fault, the father thought to himself.

But in midst of his pessimistic beliefs, a line was congregating outside the booth.

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“Hey there?” “Hello!?! Anyone in there?” a raspy voice said.

The priest, pondering whether he had too much vino at communion, quickly stood up and looked outside. What he noticed startled him.

A group of individuals, many of them appearing to be God-fearing individuals who had not recently murdered any goats or being sports journalists – these men outside were not evil.

“Come in, come in, my son,” the priest said to a 5-foot-10 man with gray hair and a genuine smile.

“How long has it been since your last confession?”

“Well, father, it hasn’t been too long. I can’t really give you an exact time, though,” the gray haired man said.

“What reasons are you here?” the priest asked.

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“There is just something eating at me. I feel horrible, like I didn’t have my team prepared for how big Missouri would really be inside,” the man said.

“What could you have done better?”

“Many things. I could have simulated it better in practice or even recruited larger-boned players in anticipation of this match up two years ago,” the worried voice answered.

His voice went into falsetto. “And I know Gene Keady taught me a better last-second play than that.”

“I thought it was a fine play,” the priest said to alleviate his worry. “You gave the ball to your best player and let God decide what should happen. “Look at it this way, Quinn Snyder has millions of more possible avenues to recruit just because he the coach at Mizzou. The kids you recruited, more often than not, Missouri would have not even sneezed at them. You out-coached him in every way possible.”

“So you think I did okay?” the coach queried.

“Yes, you did an amazing job,” the father replied. “Your coaching allowed your team to pull out numerous close games throughout the season.”

The coach then smiled, took a deep sigh and opened the door and left.

Next came a 6-foot-8 man, noticeably an inside player, with braids dangling from his head.

“Ouch man,” the athlete said after hitting his head on the door frame. “You guys need to start making these things accessible for us big guys. I think there is a possible lawsuit reeking here. Not me, I won’t sue, but the next abnormally tall dude will.”

The priest chuckled and coughed after hearing the complaint.

“Huh, I thought you guys couldn’t laugh and all being priests,” the athlete said.

“No, we can’t have sex and that is maddening enough, if we couldn’t laugh,” the priest rebutted. “I’d be insane and the Catholic Church would be a scarier work environment than a post office.”

The charisma of the athlete led the priest to believe something was really vexing this normally fun-loving man.

“What seems to be the problem?”

“Man, I let my team down,” the athlete belted as his braids shook in unison. “Being a captain, man, I am supposed to step up in games like that.”

“But, from the stats I saw, you played a huge part in the game,” the priest consoled.

“And, that whole charge thing, maybe that wasn’t a charge. Maybe I wasn’t there soon enough,” the athlete whimpered.

“No son, you did what you thought was best for your team,” the priest answered. “You see, when you positioned your body in front of that Missouri guard, you stepped up. As a senior, you put that burden on yourself. And you should be commended for it.”

“Really, dawg,” the athlete ecstatically said. “I’ve been thinking that, but I just needed to hear it from someone else than some dude kissing up to me in class.”

That athlete then pumped his fists for one last time in celebration and left the booth.

Following him was his fellow co-captain.

His face was a usual one around the church and the priest had seen him attending very often throughout his life.

“Father, that shot, I normally would have made that,” the All-American boy said. “It was a good shot. It was my shot. I feel horrible. I can’t even eat and I keep dancing with random girls instead of the one I truly love.”

The priest thought long and hard about what to say. Or maybe he was listening to 50 Cent.

“Do you realize that you are the second-highest power in the area behind the Lord Almighty?” the priest asked. “You have influenced young kids to become solid individuals by being a solid role model. And had you not made the shot at Southwest Missouri State or lit up Creighton in the second game, SIU would have never made the NCAA tournament.

“Now, the whole girlfriend thing, just blame it on hormones. That is what I do anytime I slip up. A man has to have a vice of some sort.”

The next man came in white and black vertically-striped shirt on and was wearing black pants that were way too tight.

He was obviously an official of some sort or a die-hard Olivia Newton-John fan, which can easily be understood with her amazing talents.

When the 6-foot-8 athlete saw the man, he immediately started growling from the pew and sprinted toward the official with foam dripping from his mouth.

His co-captain, the stary-eyed guard, immediately tackled him and tranquilized him

“The man has obviously been possessed,” the guard said.

Startled, the official entered the booth and sat down.

“Father, I hate myself, I cannot stand what I did,” the man said. “I should have left that a no call. I should have let the players decide the outcome. Maybe that post-player was in position. It all happened so fast.”

The priest chuckled and with that brought out some fear in the official, who feared for his life and his ability to produce offspring when he was in southern Illinois.

“Why you laughing?” the frightening man said looking around the confessional for any booby traps and checked to see if a red laser beam was anywhere on his body.

“Because you did just what you said,” the priest said. “You did let the players decide the outcome. If SIU shot normally from the stripe and not 11-for-21, they would have never been in that nasty situation.”

“But what about the charge, was it a charge?” the man asked neurotically.

“You were trained to make the best judgment you could. In the heat of the competition, you went with the Missouri guard because of his aggressiveness. But that call did not decide the game.”

“No individual was directly responsible for the Salukis losing that game.”

The booth was now quiet after the blitzkrieg of confessions. The priest, feeling gross inside after realizing he committed a sin, knelt down and placed his hands together.

“Forgive me Lord for I have sinned,” he said. “His feet couldn’t have been more set if he was wearing concrete boots.”

Zack Creglow is a freshman in journalism. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Egyptian.

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