“Dope On A Rope” by Neal Murphy

January 7, 2021 - I still have a scar on my left knee caused by a football injury, although I was not playing football at the time. How could that have happened, you may ask. Well, here’s how.

When my son, Doug, was around eight years old in the late 1960s, he enrolled in the F.U.N. football league in Houston, Texas. There were a number of different teams and Doug ended up on the Cougars team. The boys played their games in a very nice football stadium which resembled a smaller version of Rice University stadium.

There was an important football game this evening, so I, my wife, and daughter drove over to Westheimer Blvd. to the stadium to root for the Cougars. After parking in the lot provided, we headed for the stadium entrance. We reached a point where someone had tied a rope to two posts across the road which prevented vehicles from driving any farther. The rope was approximately a foot high which presented a challenge for my wife and daughter to step over.

Being chivalrous I decided to assist them over the rope. I stepped down on the rope thus lowering it to just a few inches off the ground. About the same time that I was standing on the rope, a vehicle attempted to drive on through, snagged the rope which in turn threw me to the ground on my knees. The gravel and asphalt did a number on my knee and I was bleeding. I debated on returning home to doctor myself.

As luck would have it, a referee saw the incident and came over to investigate. He took one look at my injury and said, “That needs some medical attention. Come with me to the dressing room and we will have a doctor take a look at it.”

I found myself in the football team’s locker room with the team doctor and trainers. I felt out of place there as my knee was cleaned and wrapped with an ace bandage. The doctor was kidding me that this was a first for him. He had treated many young boys at the games, but I was the first adult. Limping up the stands to my family I felt like a dope. However, I do believe that the person driving the car that caused the whole thing is the real dope here.

Whenever men talk about their old football injuries, I show them my scarred-up knee and tell them I got that injury while scoring a touchdown while dragging three tacklers with me across the goal line. It makes for a good story. After all, it happened on a football parking lot.