Ever since I started my website I have done nothing but talk about the New York Jets and my documentary. I have thrown few bits and pieces in about other topics. I never intended this website to be entirely about the New York Jets. Once I am done filming my documentary I will not be filming in the parking lot of the stadium. I am going to need more to report on and write. I did want to share one small story. One that goes back to 1988. I was in eighth grade at Central Middle School in Parsippany, NJ. A story I do not think I have told anyone really. Maybe a few people know, but I forget exactly who knows. A story about how I tried to rig my last cross country meet before moving on to high school.
Central Middle School, formerly Central Jr. High, was for 6-8th grades. But I was the last 6th grade class to “graduate” from elementary school before they added 6th grade to Central. So I went to Central as a 7th grader. I ran cross country to get my stamina up and get into shape for my real passion in school, wrestling. I had wrestled since the 4th grade. Since I was not allowed to play football due to my vision & was not a soccer player, I decided to run cross country. I ran cross country in 7th and 8th grade. My best finish was 5th, obviously I was not that good. But hey, I did it anyway. I did not want to go into wrestling season with no conditioning under my belt.
In my last race my eighth grade year I decided to do something to make it a little more exciting. You see, th race course went through a local cemetery. That’s right, a cemetery. There is a gravel road that circles the middle of the cemetery. I thought it would be funny to have a couple of kids hiding in the nearby woods and make ghost noises. As runners would be jogging though the cemetery who would think to hear those noises. Especially not the opposing school. Even my own teammates did not know what was going to happen. I told no one. I only told the kids that helped me pull off the prank. I can not even remember their names.
The day before the race I approached three kids and they were into it. We all thought it would be funny. It was my last race so I did not give it much thought. As I am writing this I have the A-Team on TV. Funny, the actor who played the caddy DeNunzo in Caddyshack is playing a caddy on the A-Team. Talk about typecast. Anyway, back to the story. All I wanted them to do was to make ghost noises, that was it. They decided to take things a step further. If I had known what they had in mind, I would have called the whole thing off.
Now the girls ran first. I was stretching before by meet and paid no attention to much else. When it came time to run our race, I did not notice the opposing teams girls talking to their coach. Apparently, our teams girls had finished in some pretty good places. Who would thick twice about something like that. By the time my race has started the only thing I cared about was finishing. I was not the best long distance runner. As I got to the cemetary I was waiting for what I had planned. As I got about two theirds around I hd heard the howls and boos coming from the woods. But there was something else I had noticed too. Rocks coming from the woods being thrown at the opposing teams runners.
When I saw that done I knew things were going a little too far. But by then it was too late. I never wanted anyone to get hurt or hit by anything. Just a couple of laughs. By the time the race was over nothing had happened. We all went home and thought nothing about what happened. I was just laughing a lot from what I had done. Thinking how funny it was to place people in the woods to make ghost noises as runners ran through a cemetery. It was not until the next day did I find out more about what the kids I had placed had done.
It turns out, the kids I had talked to about going into the woods were seen coming out. They were named by some others and one of the teams coaches by description. One of the kids had named me as the ringleader, but I was. The principal had me in his office along with one of the other kids. He brought up that some of the girls on the opposing team had tripped over some kind of rope. As it turned out, the kids had covered a rope up under the rocks on the course. When the opposing teams girls ran over it, they pulled it up and tripped them. They ended up scratching and scraping their knees. This was something I told the principal I told them not to do. Only to make ghost noises.
So what started as a harmless prank turned into something out of my control. I got several days of detention for it. Luckily, I was not suspended or anything major. That was the first and only time I decided to rig or get involved with any fixing. I still laugh about it today. I am not sure if anyone else has tried to do what I did. I have a couple of other stories I may decide to write about. Definately a lot I have told few people, especially anyone in my own family. You can not write some of the stuff, you just do it.