He blacked out during the impact. At least, that’s what he thought happened. There wasn’t any memory of the impact or just before it, just the people hurtling towards him and then his teammates hovering in the air, asking him how many fingers there were. There were two. There were always two. You would think with a couple hundred times of doing this, they would think to hold up some different number of fingers.

The coach and the injury team soon followed, concerned about his health, and then the referees came over and asked nicely for them to cart me off the field so that they could continue in the game. He didn’t have much memory of the trip to the sideline or the check-up there, but sure they happened because they always happen.

Now he was in the locker room, clutching his head and trying to remember the events that led up to all of this, hoping that he didn’t have to sit out too many games, because he honestly couldn’t afford to now that he was living the extravagant life of a professional player. He thought about his wife at home, and the new house by the lake that they just got in order to celebrate the promotion from backup to starter.

His head was throbbing, and didn’t seem to be getting any better. Why weren’t there any doctors here? Why was no one checking him out now and seeing if he could go back onto the field? He had to be able to go back on to the field. Trying to stand, he stumbled to the next bench, and then to the room with the recovery and health beds. The game wasn’t even on the TV. The game was always on the TV.

Then he saw the clock. Apparently he had blacked out longer than he thought.