LOSE, TEAM, LOSE!
Rotten Apples Roll!
Rotten Apples I call this story, "The Attack of the Ecch."
I can't tell you why right now. I'm in the middle of football practice.
What position do I play? Hey -- do you really have to ask?
The quarterback has to be brilliant, quick, and good-looking, right? So they had no choice. It had to be me -- Bernie Bridges.
I'll never forget the moment that Coach Manley Bunz handed me the football and told me I'd be leader of the team. He slapped me on the back and gave me his wonderful words of wisdom.
"Try not to get hurt," he said.
Thrilling words from a great coach.
I went running onto the practice field with that advice echoing in my ears. Coach Bunz shouted after me: "Don't break anything. It's the nurse's day off!"
This man knows how to motivate a team!
It takes a BIG man to coach a tough team of fourth and fifth graders.
And Coach Bunz is a BIG man. He ran a race in the Teachers' Olympics last spring. And his stomach finished ten seconds before he did!
That's BIG -- right?
Sometimes he gets the whole team in a huddle and he gives us a real pep talk. "You boys represent the Rotten School!" he shouts. "So I want you to get out on that field and show everyone what rotten means!"
The coach doesn't just fire us up. He also teaches us. "Don't do that!" he shouts. "Oh, please -- don't do that!"
And that's how we learn.
"Go, Rotten Apples! Rotten Apples ROLL!"
That's the Official Team Cheer. Actually, we're known as the Fighting Apples.
But that's a problem. I mean, it's not a real tough football name. If you play football, you want your team to be named after a fierce animal, a killer bird, or a wild creature. You don't really want your team to be named after a FRUIT.
Well, okay. Bernie Bridges is man enough to face the truth. The Fighting Apples is not the best team in the Boarding School League. We lose all our games, we bleed a lot, and it usually isn't even close.
But we've got one thing going for us.
We have a great quarterback.
I thought I could turn these losers into a winning team. But I was wrong.
We didn't start winning until THE ATTACK OF THE ECCH.