The ball was in my hands. And then it wasn't. Fourth down had passed and we had lost the game. Jason and Jim would win what would come to be known as Buffalo Bowl I - an epic two-on-two touch football battle in the adjacent Redwood City parking lot during 4th of July lunch. We had the smoker out, as well as the grill. Jim Barr prepared his special Buffalo Burgers in advance, ground beef and turkey patties packed with numerous herbs, spices, and cheeses. Many of us brought side dishes and salads. We dined outdoors before picking up the old pigskin and heading out to the gridiron.
With only two minutes to go before lunch ended, I headed straight towards El Camino, my legs burning, sweat pouring from my head, before slanting towards Jim's Forerunner. The ball was in the air, hanging, spinning, merging into the blistering sun above our heads. Alas, I couldn't hold on and the game ended with a 21-14 victory for Jim and Jason, while Joel and I hung our heads in defeat. We lost gracefully, however. Hands were shaken, hive-fives were slapped as we headed back into the cool interior of the retail store.
Minutes later, in between a carry-out order, the trophy was awarded and risen high into the air. Buffalo Bowl I ended in defeat for the customer service manager and spirits buyer, but legends were made this day. This was a day for meat. A day for men. A day without surrender, or dishonor.