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Simple plan


The greatest team ever

Jeff, Steve, Robbie, Ryan, Joby, Shaun, Kevin — my older brother — and I were the team. Games were played on Joby’s lawn. Four-on-four. We used a Nerf, leather or rubber football, whatever we could find.

Receivers ran posts, buttonhooks and slants. Quarterback could only run if he was rushed. Before rushing, the rusher had to count to “three alligator.” Our favorite plays were the Bomb (all receivers to the end zone) and the Flea-flicker (quarterback laterals the ball to another player who fakes the run then tosses it back to the quarterback who throws it downfield to a receiver).

When Kevin called it, we were the Dallas Cowboys. When I did, we were the Pittsburgh Steelers. We kept score, but there was no time limit. We played until someone got hurt, started crying or was called home by one of our mothers.

On Christmas morning 1977 the sky over our Portland, Ore., neighborhood was crystal clear. Inside our home Kevin and I opened boxes from Montgomery Ward filled with football uniforms complete with plastic shoulder pads, helmets, jerseys, and pants with thin foam disk inserts for the knees.

As soon as we suited up the doorbell rang. Robbie and Ryan stood on our porch wearing brand-new football uniforms too. The four of us were soon joined by Joby, Shaun, Jeff and Steve — everyone sporting a new uniform.

We played as if it were the Super Bowl. Offense dominated — we didn’t know defense won championships. The Bombs and Flea-flickers worked like Swiss watches. We were truly an amazing team.

But there’s a better team.

It has been around for thousands of years. Its Leader is the greatest team Player ever. So much so, He gave His life so all could have eternal life. Even better, you’re needed on the roster. Read on and you’ll learn how you can be a part of the greatest team ever.

Kirk Noonan

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