The 15 Minute Blog — Remembering The Terrible Twins of Norman Football


So, we need to be somewhere and have just 15 minutes to write and post a blog.

That is the challenge.

We are not sure what the topic should be.

Possibly jihadist terrorism.  Or ducks.  Or Bruce Springsteen.  Or the Terrible Twosome.

Yes, we will write about the Terrible Twosome, my childhood best friend Steve Madden, and our football buddy Dallas Pryor.

Steve and Dallas were stud-hoss lineman on our sixth grade Cleveland Cougars’ champeenship team.

As I recall, Dallas, appropriately, wore a crummy, old Dallas Cowboy’s helmet. The rest of us wore new white helmets, with black stripes down the middle, custom-made with electrical tape.

In pregame warm-ups, the other teams would smart off at Dallas.

“Did you get that helmet in the dump?”

“Does your Mommy get your underwear at the Salvation Army?”

Big mistake.

Invariably, on the first play of the game, especially if we were on defense, there would be a horrible KABOOM.

It would sound like a bomb had gone off.

It would echo.

Parents from neighboring fields would come running.

And, invariably, Dallas would be standing over some poor, semi-conscious kid, smiling down at him.

Nobody hit like Dallas.

When we made it to West Junior High, the stupid coach was not very good at spotting talent.  I don’t even think he had Dallas in the first two teams.

I think I suggested we end practice one day by playing “Bull in the Ring”.

That means you put one kid in the middle, and then everybody else forms a circle around him.

The coach screams out a name at random, and that kid rushes toward the kid in the middle — the bull.

You know that cartoon where the big, red bull smashes every other bull out of the ring?

That’s what it was like watching Dallas.

It was awesome.

A lot of young men lost their lives that day, but Dallas earned a starting job, so it was worth it.

When we got to Norman High School, Steve missed a year playing ball, so when he came back, the assistant coaches didn’t know how good he was.

Especially as a kicker.

While we were growing up, Steve and I kicked at least 900 billion field goals at Norman High’s nearby practice field.

I was a crap kicker.  Steve was great.

So when NHS coaches asked if anyone could kick, I was all excited for Steve’s big chance to show off.

But he was too shy to say anything.

field goal

That was never my problem, so I proclaimed to the football world that Steve had kicked a 50 yard field goal before that very practice.

It was only a small lie.

So the smirking, disbelieving assistant coaches said “Let’s see what you’ve got.”

Boom. Boom. Boom.  Steve split the uprights further and further back. He did not miss one.

So Steve got to be our kicker.

He even got a zip-on kicking shoe with a square toe — just like legendary NHS alumnist Bill McClard.

Steve even pulled the toe way back with a shoestring that was tied high up on his calf, which was the coolest thing ever.

In my Junior Trail, our yearbook, Steve wrote something like, “Next year it will be ‘Bill 20 yard TD run, Madden to kick, GOOD!’

That didn’t happen, because I blew out an ankle and decided to focus on being a good Safety instead of a tiny running back with one bad wheel.

But Steve kicked the crap out of the ball and made All-Conference honorable mention.  In fact, we both did.

End of blog.

Fifteen minutes on the nose. Not bad.

Steve and Dallas, if you are out there, thanks for the memories.



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