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Per. 1 Creative Writing
Thursday, October 19, 2000
“Fourth down and Goal!” Screamed the referee on the field. The opposing team was on the ten-yard line. Johnny Spring, a defensive back for the Panthers was covering maybe the greatest wide receiver ever to play in the NFL, Shawn Fanning. Johnny\'s team was up by seven. He looked up at the clock, 0:03. The huddle came together.
The defensive play caller yelled, “Johnny, you cover Fanning, don’t mess up!” The huddle broke, but Johnny just stood there. He looked all around the packed Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. “This is what it is all about.” Said Johnny quietly to himself.
Johnny was a very shy person when he was younger, never got in with the crowd because of his size. His was also the only African American family in the town. Because of this, he was always deep in thought.
“Johnny lets go!” Screamed Johnny\'s teammate and also lifelong friend Timmy. He shook out of it and ran over to where Shawn was set up.
“You got nothin\' on me Brotha! You just try and stop me fool!” Shawn shouted over the enormous crowd. Johnny\'s quick glare straight into Shawn\'s eyes shut him up. Johnny didn\'t say anything, but thought to himself, well, that\'s what I\'m paid for, I guess I will. Johnny knew that if he did trash talk, it would only make things worse if he did score on him. Trash talking is done after the game, Johnny thought to himself.
Johnny knew that Shawn had a reputation of playing dirty. Having the same color tape as the other teams jersey so the ref couldn\'t see a hold, or maybe a swift blow to an unprotected area of the body.
“This is a huge play. A stop right here would guarantee a playoff spot. A loss and its all over for this young Panther team.” Exclaimed Madden, the play-by-play ABC announcer. “I\'m thinking they are going to go to their key man, Shawn Fanning on this one Dave. I\'m sure young Johnny never thought that he would have this much pressure on him this quickly in his career. What do you think Dave?”
“It doesn\'t matter what you think!” Screamed John. “That one never gets old.” Exclaimed a laughing John Madden. “The quarterback starts calling the play...” He continued for the benefit of the TV audience.
“Blue 14, Blue 14!”
Johnny knew that this was a left to right hook thrown to Shawn. He knew what was coming.
“Hut, Hut, Hike!”
Shawn was off. Johnny was right on him. Every step that Shawn took, Johnny took. Shawn knew he had to get away from his defender. Johnny felt a quick jab to his rib, and then Shawn hooked back to the right. He now had the space. Johnny looked up. There was the ball soaring right over him. He knew that he couldn\'t let Shawn in the end zone. With one great stride, Johnny caught up to Shawn who had caught the ball and was rushing to score. Johnny grabbed him by the neck, looking to pull him down and back so that he didn\'t let him score the winning touchdown. Down they went, and a pile of defensive players and offensive players came down on top of them.
Did I stop him Johnny wondered? As the players got off, the referee rushed over, looking for where the ball was.
“No good!” screamed the ref. The crowd went wild! He did it! Johnny stopped the famous Shawn Fanning. He could taste the rancid taste of sweat that was dripping down his face, and reeked of a non-washed football jersey, but he did not care. Johnny’s black eyes again stared straight into Shawn\'s eyes.
“Waaazzzzzuuuuppppppp now thugg\'?” Yelled Johnny to a crying Shawn. Johnny ran over towards the stands and dived up into the crowd. They had done it. For the first time ever, the Carolina Panthers made it to the playoffs.
After the game, reporters were everywhere. Johnny loved this part, the fame, and the praise. The coach was next to him.
“He was like an animal out there tonight folks. I knew he could do it.”
“Johnny! What was it like stopping Fanning dead in his tracks?” Asked one reporter.
“It was a great feeling. He was
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