“They said a man with no arms couldn’t play quarterback,” said Brown quarterback Ronald Hudson ’12 defiantly after yesterday’s 46-3 loss to Cornell, which leaves the team with an 0-8 record.
“The media, the fans, the doctors — they all said that you couldn’t throw a football without arms,” said Hudson. “’Ron,’ they’d say, ‘the ball is just going to bounce off your chest. You won’t even be able to pick it up again, because of the arms.”
“And boy,” said Hudson, shrugging his shoulder-stumps, “were they right.”
To compensate for his lack of hands, Hudson has created a crowd-pleasing routine where he acrobatically juggles the ball with his head and ankles, eventually kicking it out to wide receivers. However, this technique is ill-suited to the snap-second timing of a football play and has contributed to a league-leading 90 percent fumble rate on first downs. Even when the ball makes it out of the backfield, the situation is complicated by Brown’s unorthodox receiving corps, led by William “Blind Billy” Coombs, Nathan “No-Fingers” Fillmore and Lex “Trapped In A Persistent Vegetative State Ever Since That Bus Accident” Hammerstein.
“The media’s going to doubt us, that’s fair,” said Hudson. “But we’ll see who’s pouring the victory champagne come the end of the season. I mean it won’t be me, obviously, what with the arms and all. And it probably won’t be anyone on this team, considering we’re statistically eliminated from contention in the Ivy League. But … it’ll be someone. No matter what the media thinks.”
“Bluh,” agreed Hammerstein from his bed at Rhode Island General Hospital.
These are just some of the many players brought in over the offseason by new head coach Bernie Wickmund. According to observers, the coach has completely ignored conventional wisdom on how or whether to build a good football team and is often called a “maverick” who thinks “outside the box.” Wickmund might also be described as “incompetent” and “not a very good coach,” say observers.
“When I took over this team last summer,” said Wickmund, “I knew we needed to make some changes. Sure, we had a decent quarterback last year. He could hustle. He could throw. He could help us gain yardage and eventually score points, I’ll give him that. But you know what he didn’t have?”
The coach paused for a moment. “Heart,” he said. “He didn’t have heart. And you need one of those to play football."
Wickmund later conceded that, as it turned out, those other, more arms-related things were also somewhat important.
Hudson hopes to guide his team to victory one last, first time in the season finale against undefeated rival Cornell. “I don’t want to give too much away,” said the quarterback, “but we’ve cooked up some pretty crazy schemes. I can’t promise that they’ll get us touchdowns, or first downs, or will even involve actually touching the football at all. But I give you my solemn vow that we’ve got something up our sleeve."
“And I’m not just talking about my shoulder stump," said Hudson. “I am speaking metaphorically.”