Watch the play clock. Watch the clock. No don’t watch the clock; this is the last play. This could be it for me as a quarterback. I can’t leave this game with more questions than answers. I can’t.
Snap the ball already. No! The middle linebacker is coming forward. Kill the play. Call it. Yell it. Now call Witten to motion to the strong side.
Hike! The ball is in my hands. This is the last play. This could be it for me as a quarterback. I’m not ready to leave this game. I’m not ready.
Time went by faster than they said. Today turned into yesterday. Yesterday turned into history.
Look off the strong safety. He’s back pedaling. He’s reading my eyes. Let him read my eyes. Don’t stare down option one.
My record says I’ve won more games than I’ve lost. So why do I feel the weight of the league on my shoulders? I’ve done all I could. I’m tired. I can’t throw this ball forever. My mind still wants to, but my arm has grown old and weary. I can’t put it together. Time is running out. And my mind is lying to me everyday — I can’t throw the ball like I used to.
People hate me. People who love me, hate me. Sometimes, I hate me.
I love this game every bit as much as I hate it. A player can do all he can do, defeat his foe in all facets available to one in a game, but the scoreboard can still serve the enemy. I’ve given this game, this team, this life, everything I had. But the day that I can’t try anymore is coming. Time is running out. I’m not ready.
I just need one more throw. I need this throw.
The DE is coming. Don’t look! He’s coming. Dodge! No wait! I can feel him breathing down on me like a shark in pursuit of blood. The field is an ocean. And in the dark waters lurks many who murmur my numbers, my talents, my lack of talents, my history. I can hear them. But I can’t see them. They are allowed to attack me. But I can’t attack them.
I can only dodge. Now! Duck, the DE has arrived. He missed. They always miss me. I know they hate it when I do that. I know they know I love it when they hate it.
Scramble to the right side of the field. Mark the line of scrimmage. It’s there. Good. Don’t pass it. This side of the ocean is nice. I’m alone. When I release this ball, my legacy is my own. They can hate me or love me, but my legacy is my own.
Option one is covered. Look for the second read.
My legs are tired. They are always tired. I can’t heal like I used to. I hate that. Everyone on the field is getting faster. I’m growing thinner. I’m growing weary. My child is getting younger. My child is getting faster. Was that gray hair I saw in the mirror this morning?
The second option is in double coverage. It looks like he has a step on the DB. But I don’t have the arm strength to cover the distance. I’ll throw it flat. I’m not young like I used to be. I’m closer to the side of history than I am of my birth.
Force the ball into double coverage. I can have this ball. This is my last throw. It will make it. The ball is out of my hands. The ball wobbles in the air like fish squirming above water. The wind is cursing my ball.
But the ball will make it. We will score. We will win. I believe it.
The ball is almost there. Catch it Dez Bryant! Catch it! This could be my last throw. My legacy is about to land.
This could be it for me as a quarterback. I’m not ready to leave this game. I’m not ready.