The bleachers were packed.
"Great. Just what we need. EVERYONE’S gonna see us like this!"
Most of the audience exploded into laughter when the Burnside Braves ran onto the field, their oversized helmets bouncing, their jerseys flapping around their bare legs. And noone laughed harder than The West Side Bruins.
"Aw! Wookit the Widdle Bwaves!"
"I can’t believe it! They’re actually gonna play!"
The Bruins were a forminable team, big and beefy. Up until an hour or so ago, the Braves were the same way. Now, shrunk down to third-graders, they tended to alternate between scrawny and pudgy.
"Is that Travis Stock? Oh, MAN!"
Travis was the largest guy on the team. In last year’s game, he’d plowed through the Bruins like a tank. Now he was an angelic-faced little boy who’d have to stand on his toes to look them in the chest.
"And there’s Brad Johnson!"
Brad scowled up at Trent Grayson, the Bruins’ quarterback who was leading the team’s howls of amusement.
"You’re gonna pay for this, Grayson," he vowed.
"Yeah," Grayson smirked. "Right." He shoved Brad’s helmet down, blocking his vision.
Adjusting his helmet, Brad took his position on the field.
On the sidelines, Bruins Coach Riley gloated, looking down at Braves Coach Dwyer. Dwyer had also shrunk and was swimming in a now-gigantic windbreaker.
"So, y’see now why we couldn’t call off the game, right?" He smiled condescendingly. "Couldn’t disappoint all these good people in the stands."
"Yeah," Coach Dwyer glared back. "Besides, this is the only way your team’d ever have a chance of winning."
"Why, Dwyer!" Coach Riley feigned shocked hurt. "I can’t believe you’d say such a thing! That’s completely unsportsman-like!" He smiled again, like a toad sunning itself. "We are gonna win this year, though. Here, I’ll give you a ringside seat."
Before Dwyer could react, Riley picked him up and plopped him down on the concrete buttress on one side.
"There, how’s that? Comfy?."
"A little cold..." Dwyer hissed. He slid the flapping tail of his jacket under himself and braced himself to watch the slaughter.