Friday, August 23, 2013

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: September 5, 2051

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT: September 5, 2051

By Aziz Al-Hasheem
The Daily Magi
September 5, 2051


Mitakihara Magi quarterback Haruyuki Arita was in the middle of some intense soul-searching, wandering around campus after practice to come to terms with his comsumption of humble pie. Was this what pop culture called "the sophomore slump" or "second year blues" or "second year syndrome"? Whatever it was, it was something Haru neither liked nor appreciated.

Granted, the Magi were now ranked No. 1 in the country and were unbeaten after a tough road trip. But somehow the uninspired play from Haru left many people having doubts about his performance. As he went to a bench to read a book at the Magia Quad, a woman came up to him to greet him.

"Are you Haruyuki Arita?" asked the lady.
"Yes, that's me."
"Wonderful. I've been looking all over for you."
"Who are you?"
"Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Kotori Itsuka, the wife of Magi defensive line coach Buntarou Okabe. How about we chat over lunch? It's on me?"
"Ummmm...sure. I don't have any practice today, I had it in the morning, and I don't have any classes."
"Awesome. Let's go."

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The two of them went over to the food court to order some Japanese bento. This was all on Buntarou's wife, who ordered the most expensive ones on the menu. Just to be safe, Kotori ordered extra rice. 
"I work as an office staff member at Saito Library. Have you been there already?" she asked, wielding her chopsticks.
"A few times."
"You may have seen me. I sometimes hide from the others by wearing glasses, but I don't mind going out in the open. You seem to be troubled by something."
"It's my performance the last two weeks, Ms. Itsuka. I hit a wall. I think I hit a wall."
"Did you? Or did you set it up yourself?"
"What...what do you mean?"
"Oy. You got some rice on your cheek." She licked it off. "You expect me to clean up for you? I'm not your mom you know." Haru was about to lose it. "I'm kidding, don't trip. I'm kidding."
"Still, what do you mean I set the wall up? What are you talking about?"
"Athletes who have this really foolish delusion that they are All-World athletes from the day they were born put too much pressure on themselves. Then they start to underperform after they broke through the year before."
"Ms. Itsuki, I want to be the best quarterback this school has ever had. I want to be the man. I want to be the hero. I want to do whatever it takes to get it done and change the course of history forever," Haru said.
"Foolish," she said. "You're only here to win games and hardware, earn your degree then get your ass out of here. That's all."
"I guess...if that's how you put it..."
"No, listen to me Haru." She lifted his chin. "Rewriting the history books of your team is not what your experience should be about. Your job is to only do enough to win games and then complete your course of study. Those are the basics of being a student-athlete. The honors of the individual are not important. It's that of the team."
"So...you don't want me to go all out?"
"I never said you should sell your skills short. Haruyuki, you are an awesome quarterback. But don't make setting new individual records your number-one-priority. It should only be defeating your opponent. You know, the Magi's pass defense has sucked ass for the past four decades, right?"
"Yeah?"
"Any quarterback can set school records in terms of passing. But they will still see their team lose big because of all the turnovers and the points off turnovers that we generate. I don't know about you, but you can do a Jerry Sandusky on the record books and still lose the game."
"I think you have a point."
"Believe me Haru, I have followed the team long enough, even scouted one of their opponents in the past, to know that winning the game irrespective of the record books is the number one priority on the team. How are you doing with the playbook?"
"It's...different, but I've gotten used to the new formations and plays."
"Ask Coach Kaname and Coach Akiyuki and Coach Mio if you can throw the ball a little bit more. Stats show that this university has the 110th-best passing offense in all of college football. I would like to see you prove those stats wrong."
"I've also been feeling really angry about my performances the last two weeks," Haru said.
"Channel it into motivation: to destroy Air Force. I think the coaches realize that you should hang as close to 255 as possible on the Falcons. Can you throw for more than 1,000 yards this week?"
"I think I can. I'll try."
"You won't try. You will. Your anger and frustration will turn into resolved and determination. Watch. She gave Haru a kiss. "Motivated now?"
"You're...kinda old to give me a kiss like that, Ms. Itsuka," Haru said with a giggle. "And I kinda have a wife, too."
"Being a full-time mom as well as a university staff member...I get that all the time. Think of it as my good-luck charm to you."
"Oy," Kuroyukihime said, walking over to the two of them. "I saw what you did to my Haruyuki-kun, Ms. Itsuka. He's taken. By me. Don't you ever touch him again."
"S...Saku-chan!" Haru squealed.
"Yare, yare," Kotori sighed, sucking on a lollipop in trademark fashion.
"Haruyuki-kun...this isn't what I think it is...is it? You like...old women...don't you."
"NO! SAKU-CHAAAAAAAAAAN!" And just when things couldn't any more worse for the Pig...they did. He was going to be ravaged like a suckling at a luau in Hawaii later that night.

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