Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Are you ready for some football?

I introduced (a) football to our taxi zone about four months ago. I've been meaning to mention it here, but I keep forgetting. On a whim I bought a $4, foam football from Wallgreens one afternoon. On the cab stand I tossed it to another driver. Several drivers have been playing catch for months now, every time a lull in business allows us the opportunity.

The $4 ball quickly landed on a 2nd floor condo balcony and was never seen again. Jim, our youngest and perhaps fittest driver made a brief attempt to scale a drain pipe (it was 3 a.m.) in an attempt to recover the ball, but cops were patrolling the area. Cops around our area have a notable lack of understanding and humor. I've never had a problem with them, but their reputation is no-nonsense. I decided a $4 loss was no big deal.

So I bought another $4 ball, and we still have that. The glossy, orange coating on the ball is completely gone, so it's now just a crumbly piece of foam in the rough shape of an American football. We're getting good, too. Even a few guys who were born and raised in Mexico, and so have never touched a football, love throwing it around. I had to show them how to hold and throw the ball, and how to balance the forward toss with the downward release to get the spiral.

Then I bought a real, leather ball for $20 at Target. It's a junior size NFL ball -- junior because I have fairly small hands, and throwing a full-size ball is tough.

Bringing the footballs to our zone has been a huge hit. I had no idea how popular it would be. Everyone loves it. We alternate the lightweight, foam ball with the much heavier leather ball, which is kind of entertaining. After throwing the leather ball, the foam one feels like tossing a feather. People walking along the sidewalks often join in for a while, and customers often join a circle for a few throws before we get in the car and leave.

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