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The 10 Guys on Every IM Flag Football Team

Intramural flag football season is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. This is an exciting time for many bros across Penn State’s campus who feel the need to compete in something other than a beer drinking contest. These football games always feature an interesting cast of characters who all try their hardest for IM glory.

I am one of these guys. Up until a few days ago, I was still sore from the first game for my team, the Sons of State (hopefully you get the reference). Every year that I play flag football, there seem to be some common trends among the dudes who are a part of any game. Here are the 10 guys who you won’t be able to avoid:

The Sweaty, Grunting Kid
At the end of the game, this kid’s shirt is absolutely drenched in sweat, no matter what the temperature outside may be. During the game, sweaty, grunting kid goes 110% every play. He makes up for his general lack of athleticism with sheer effort. He makes all sorts of noises that you would rather not hear a human make under any circumstances. If you play offensive line (like I do), he is your worst nightmare.

The Former High School Player
These come in droves. Every team has a handful of guys who played in high school, and who were probably pretty good back then. They even claim to you that they could have probably “played D-3 ball” somewhere. High school ball was quite a few years ago for most of us, but the nostalgia comes rushing back in for IM football. For the most part, these guys have lost many of their skills. Their six-pack has transformed into a beer gut remarkably quickly. If they lose, they are crushed, like it was the district final all over again.

The Coach on the Field
The coach on the field can be both a blessing and curse for your IM football team. Sometimes this guy is so caught up telling everybody else what to do, that they forget to cover their own man. This guy knows a lot about football, but to him, he knows everything about football. He is the one attempting to implement the cover 2 defense in his scheme, even though nobody knows what the hell that is. He draws up new plays every week and encourages everyone to do well. You can’t help but love him, but sometimes coach needs to just shut up and play the game.

The Athlete
He probably plays quarterback on his team, but if not that, he touches the ball almost every single play. This is the guy who is way more athletic than everyone else, and generally makes you look bad and feel bad at the same time. You watch The Athlete and think, “Hey! I used to be able to do that, but now I drink beer instead.” He is still in top shape and is the best player on your team, even if he did not play football in high school. In fact, you probably had to beg him to join your team. And he’ll miss half the games. You kinda hate The Athlete.

The Rules Guy
This is the guy that has an extensive knowledge of the rule book. He’ll call for a penalty on almost every play. He’ll get really mad if the opposing team does not have a standard huddle, or lines up slightly offside. He yells at the refs all the time. If he gets beat on a play, he’ll blame the refs. If he is on the other team you hate him, but on your team he’s generally an asset, especially if you have more interesting things to do than memorize the rule book.

The Dramatic Injury Kid
Sure we’re all slightly out of shape, but there is no way someone sprained his ankle, broke his finger, and pulled his hamstring all in the first half. If The Dramatic Injury Kid gets beat on a play and gives up a touchdown, he had leg cramps. Recovery from these leg cramps generally consist of rolling around on the ground wincing, then stretching the “cramping” calf. He might be preparing for this act by rocking a knee brace or an ace bandage. We’ve all been a witness to our injury plagued friend.

The ‘Go’ Route Kid
For those who don’t know (if you have any interest in this article I would hope you do), a go route is when a receiver runs straight up the field, hoping to get behind his defender for the touchdown. There is always one guy on your team that will run this route almost every play. In the eyes of the Go Route Kid, he is open every single time. He’ll run back to the huddle and wonder why he wasn’t thrown to. “I was open, man!” he exclaims. In reality, he either was not open, or his quarterback probably is incapable of throwing the ball 40 yards downfield. The Go Route Kid adds nothing to your team.

The Cigarette Smoker
We’ve all seen him. The Cigarette Smoker tries his hardest, but after a few sprints up and down the field, he’s coughing up all sorts of odd-colored liquids. He’s the guy who is wheezing after a 4-play series, pleading for a sub. He smokes a cig at half-time and immediately after the game.

The Excessive Gear Guy
This guy came prepared. He is rocking a precisely cut-off sleeveless shirt. He sports a headband, arm-bands, wrist-bands, any other ‘band’ you can think of, and high socks. He has top of the line $100 cleats that he ordered online. You think he looks ridiculous, but Excessive Gear Guy does not care. He wears his gear with pride.

The “Let Me Play QB” Guy
This is your worst nightmare. This is the guy on your team that insists he should play quarterback, even though everyone–including him–knows he’s not that good. After your normal quarterback throws an incompletion or an interception, he immediately tells the team that he’s going to play quarterback for a series. He wants to be QB with the game on the line, and most of the time, he blows it. You can’t say no to him, because he is your friend. But letting him play QB generally ends poorly.

I’m certainly no megatron on the flag football field, but these are some observations I and the OS staff have made over the years. Let us know if there are any we missed in the comments section!

About the Author

Sam Cooper

Sam is a senior originally from Newtown, PA who majors in print journalism and is a member of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. His athletic peak was age 11 so he decided to grow a beard and write about sports instead.

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