Five minutes before kick-off of Saturday’s football game pitting Wake Forest against Louisville, I stampeded through my front door with a grocery bag crammed with Pepperidge Farm Apple Turnovers. The pre-game strategy was to calm my nerves by microwaving and housing down one turnover every time Wake committed a turnover. Food gives solace.
The first half was uneventful and the turnovers started to get cold. But turnovers really heated up in the third quarter. My quarterback heaved a pick-six to a Louisville defender. So I downed one turnover. Tasted sweet and chewy. Pleasantry for the palate. A minute later he fumbled. I gobbled another turnover. A minute later, he lofted a second interception. Turnover down my esophagus. A minute later. Another turnover, this time a fumble. Then another fumble.
Picture Joey Chestnut during Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest cramming turnovers down his pie-hole without even chewing or swallowing. That was me on Saturday, speed-eating to keep pace with the Wake Forest time-honored and tremendous turnover tornado.
Five minutes, five turnovers, five turnovers.
With a belly packed with turnovers, and a torrential downpour of turnovers pouring through my TV screen every other minute, it was becoming an eventful — and unprecedented — afternoon watching the ballgame. Gorged to my gills was I. With turnovers galore.
Things twisted and turned even more. Wake heaved another interception and fumbled two more times. Three more apple turnovers down the chute.
Eight turnovers on the field. Eight turnovers in my tummy. My stocked stomach turned over, fumbled around. Becoming incapacitated, I called my next-door neighbor, a Wake grad and doctor.
“Get over here, doc,” I said. “I’ve eaten too many turnovers.”
He came over.
“How many did you eat?”
“I decided I would eat one for every turnover Wake committed to deal with the on-field fiasco. I figured they’d have one maybe two. Instead, they tore up the turnover record books committing eight in a single half of football.”
“I was cooking Apple Turnovers myself but it never occurred to me to eat one after each turnover. Clever idea.”
Then he said: “Turn over on your stomach.”
“Can’t, doc,” I said. “Too many turnovers.”
My cell phone rang.
“Hello, this is Pepperidge Farm’s director of marketing. Is this Sammy Sportface, the guy who writes that stomach-turning crud on Demon Deacon Sports Nation?”
“Well, I wouldn’t call it stomach-turning, more like stomach-twisting. But yes.”
“We need you to work your Wake Forest connections. We want to offer your quarterback a timely and nationally recognizable name image and likeness deal. We want to offer him $8 million a year, one million for each of the turnovers Wake Forest committed. We want to put his picture on our packages of Apple Turnovers and we also want him to be our lead turnover spokesperson for a TV turnover campaign on the ACC Network.”
“Because when people see his face, they’ll think apple turnovers. It’s subliminal advertising.”
“What’s the business need?”
“We’ve had a lot of turnover in our apple turnover manufacturing plant. Employees have been fumbling the apple turnovers and that cuts into our costs and lowers morale. It’s kind of like the Great Resignation but we’re calling it the Great Turnover to draw more attention to our turnovers. Plus, the turnover of our business, the revenues, are on the decline. We need your quarterback to help us increase the turnover of our turnovers.”
“How about you put my face on your turnover packages? I’m the one who ate eight turnovers today.”
“You haven’t thrown 94 touchdown passes during your college football career. You’ve posted eight blowhard blogs on Demon Deacon Sports Nation, and that doesn’t make you a celebrity anyone would care about.”
“You’re making my stomach turnover,” I said. And hung up.
The phone rang again.
“Hey Sportface, this is the director of marketing at Pillsbury. We want to offer your quarterback $80 million to put his face on the cover of our Apple Turnover packages. Ten million for each of the eight turnovers the team allowed today. Wow, what a tidal wave of turnovers.”
“Tell you what,” I said. “How about I show you I can eat eight football caramel apple turnovers in eight minutes and you put my mug on your Apple Turnover packages?”
Meanwhile, my doctor feels my belly searching for any indications that the turnovers in my tummy are moving through my intestines and will soon give me some gas relief from the abdominal pressure turning over in my stomach.”
Then Sammy Hartman walks into my house.
“Fumble, fumble, fumble take it Louisville take it,” he says, imitating the Wake Forest cheerleaders chant from the 1980s.
“Sammy,” I said. “The cheer is supposed to encourage Wake Forest to recover the other teams’ fumbles, not the other way around.”
“I know I just wanted to make your stomach turnover,” said Hartman. “Hey, did you hear I got an NIL deal with Pepperidge Farm?”
“Better not fumble that deal,” I said.
Then I got up, stuck out my belly, wiggled my behind, and chanted:
“Fumble, fumble, fumble, fumble, fumble drop it Sammy drop it.”
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:
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