It’s hard to throw someone off their game. Rick Perry seemed thrown off last night, but usually it takes more than facts and talking to get someone to fumble around their notes and say, “Oops!” Tonight, I was sharing a meal with one of my friends that likes to bring up embarrassing or ridiculous stories about me over conversation, like my grandpa terrorizing me with a crab. Over our burritos she brought up one of my only overt confrontations with racism in its hilarious form.
I loved going to lacrosse games my senior year of college. There’s nothing like watching a bunch of dudes who paid too much to run in pads and fight over a tiny ball. SEU fans would print out teamsheets with the names of the players and call them out individually. We were playing UTSA at our famous lower field around the time the Kite Festival was going on. I singled out a player that was playing on the nearest side to me to ridicule. The guy wore an orange bandana under his helmet like a strange ode to a toxic Big Gay Al. I kept yelling at him about it.“Does that bandana make you play better?! It isn’t working!”
I also yelled pretty innocuous things at him.“Wanna catch a movie later, dude?!” “When is halftime?!” “Do you want to go to the Kite Festival?! I’ll bring the popcorn!”
I never knew the Kite Festival was such a sore subject for the wee man. Maybe he didn’t like being asked out by a guy? Who knows. After I inquired about his availability to watch plastic fabric dance through the air, like his bandana was during most of the game, he yelled,
“WHY DON’T YOU GO EAT A TACO, YOU FAT MEXICAN!”
I was flabbergasted. I mean, I know I’m fat, but a Mexican? Hell no. Salvadoran, bro.“Are you buying?!”
He walked over ready to yell at me again closer and over the fence that protects the spectators from the Division II amateur athletes. The referee must’ve heard him erroneously calling me a Mexican and came over.“HEY, CUT IT OUT YOU TWO OR BOTH OF YOU ARE EJECTED!” “Ref, I’m just sitting here being a Mexican.”
The guy turned around and walked to the other sideline, ripping off his gear, and angrily sat on the ground. He was miffed. Unfortunately for the Roadrunners, he thought that he had actually been ejected. His coach and teammates were unaware of the mix-up and they played a man down for a few minutes.
I had achieved what most sports fans can only dream of. I affected the run of play by being an obnoxious fan. I didn’t even have to run onto the field naked. Perfect.
To this day, it is one of my fondest memories of college.
Sometimes, when I’m eating a taco, which is often, I think about what that guy is doing. This one is for you, racist buddy.