A young man’s memories of quitting the football team:
“The boy remembers walking the hallway toward his office, telling himself not to give in. He sat face-to-face with Coach, Bear Bryant’s picture hanging nearby on the office wall. Are you sure you want to spend your senior year in the bleachers? Coach said. Full of teenage arrogance, the boy said he wouldn’t be attending any games. He said he had watched from the sideline for two seasons and had his fill.
“Coach, always slow to speak, leaned back in his chair and warned him. He warned him that not that season, but in a decade or so, he would come to regret his decision and that once made, it could not be undone.
“The boy laughed. A grown man, said the boy, has no business thinking of games he did or did not play in high school. Coach said all right and the boy left. He never called him ‘Coach’ again. Not because he walked away from football, but because that summer the coach married his mother.
“And the boy hated him for that.”