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The Samurai's Heart by Walt Mussell

The Samurai's Heart

by Walt Mussell

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Black Rubber Pellets a Harbinger of Fall


My back seat is dotted with little black rubber pellets.

This event first happened two years ago when my younger son started playing football. The local park where they played nearly half of the games has turf made from recycled tires (similar to the baseball field of the Tampa Bay Rays). Little pieces break off and get into kids clothes and shoes. The pieces end up in the car and in front of the door where my son removes his cleats.

We didn’t have to deal with the black pellets much during my son’s first season. He practiced at a local middle school, so we only saw the pellets the few times that he played games at the local park. However, last season he went to pre-season “strength and agility” camp, held at the park, and then practiced at the park through the football season. Every day, there were more and more pellets in my car.

I tried to clean the pellets out of the car. It made it better for a while. However, by mid season, I felt like I'd thrown out the equivalent of a tire. What was worse was that they all over the garage. Once, when my mother visited, she saw the pellets and got alarmed. She thought we had mice. She relaxed after I told her what it really was, a sign that football is on the schedule. After the season was over, I took the car to a car wash and vacuumed as much as I could, at least before the vacuum valves got stopped up.

Well, with the end of school and the start of June, Strength and Agility Camp have begun. The camp is being held at the park. And my car is, as I said above, dotted with black pellets.

A sign that football season is on its way.

A sign that hours of practice and team building with parents is on its way.

And a sign that the game that I watch live on Saturday is more important than any game I will watch on TV.

It may be June, but the excitement of fall is building.

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