Standing on the sidelines watching in-game highlights on my team’s Microsoft Surface tablet was great! I was like, “Wow, I can see how poorly I read the zone coverage when I threw that interception.” As a quarterback, I found it extremely helpful. And, hey, I thought highlights weren’t the only thing on the tablet that could boost my performance.
But, my coaches didn’t agree.
First, they yelled at me when they saw me playing Sudoku on the tablet. Then, when I switched to the New York Times mini-crossword they yelled at me again—and put child locks on so the only app I could use was the one that showed me my replays. I threw a bit of a tantrum and told them I’m not a damn child!
Then, I threw an interception the very next play.
When I figured out a way around the child lock so I could use the Wingstop half-off promo code they flashed on the jumbotron if we scored three touchdowns or more (we had scored four touchdowns at that point, all rushing TDs) to order three dozen wings to the locker room, they tried different device settings, more geared towards adults, to keep me on the in-game highlights ONLY. When I figured out how to undo those settings, they asked me why I was doing it. They said we had a game to win. They asked me if I cared.
Can’t I care about football and wings at the same time? And sudoku? It helps me focus.
When I was sidelined for a game with a strained calf, I got to stare at the tablet the whole game and do whatever I wanted. It was so cool. The back-up QB threw three touchdowns, no interceptions.
When I was healthy again, the team tried having a coach supervise my use of the tablet. He yelled, again, when I tried going into my email to fill out a customer survey for Zabby’s Cold Hard Subs because I didn’t like the sandwich they made me. It was too hard. Other coaches yelled at me too when they saw what was going on.
Then, they had a coach operate the tablet for me so I could still watch highlights—it’s an important part of the game! But he got frustrated when I kept asking him to rewind the video just a little bit more than he did. He also got frustrated when I’d ask him to navigate to the home camera app we have set up at my house so I could watch my cute little cavapoo sleeping in front of the TV. I like watching my doggie napping at home. It helps me play! Just like the highlights.
But that was the last straw. Then, I didn’t have any tablet privileges on the sidelines.
So, I brought my own iPad and used it under my big winter jacket on the sidelines. I couldn’t get the immediate replays because it’s not a team tablet, so I mainly used it to compare cost and quality of air fryers and dog toys, check my supermarket rewards points, and text my agent to see if he was watching me play. And play Sudoku.
They blamed me for our starting running back tearing his meniscus because I wasn’t paying attention when I stood up with my tablet and knocked into him. He writhed on the ground while I quickly tried to close out of tabs of air fryers and open some old highlights from earlier in the season to see if I could play it off. It didn’t work.
The actual last straw was when I was too locked into Wordle coming out of the two-minute warning down a TD and I got to the huddle too late—cost us a delay of game penalty. It was just a five-yard penalty but head coach smashed my tablet. MY personal tablet. I got so mad.
I think that’s why I threw an interception on the next play. We missed the playoffs because of that game.