I’ve always wanted to be a sports hero.
Growing up in east Texas, my three older brothers were tackling me while I was still in diapers. After they eventually deserted me for girls, I won many games with last-play TD catches, grand slams and jump shots. Unfortunately, I was by myself in our pasture.
Later, there were a few close calls with actual fame.
I won a junior-varsity game by sinking four free throws in overtime. The Mt. Vernon Optic-Herald only covered varsity games.
Even though my twin sister outweighed me, I made a fourth-quarter interception my senior year in our district-clinching game. Unfortunately, my number was obscured, and the Optic-Herald captioned me as an “unidentified player.”
My greatest claim to fame — as a 6-year-old pee-wee first baseman — was turning an unassisted triple play.
With runners on first and second, I fielded a grounder, tagged out the runners going to second and first, and then started to fire home. “Nah, he never catches it,” I remembered — so I sprinted home and tagged out the runner trying to score from second.
The Optic-Herald only reported pitchers and home-run hitters.
Recently, in Portales’ Greyhound Arena, I finished second in hula-hooping to a 9-year-old girl. Apparently, the Portales News-Tribune photographer was on a bathroom-break.