In the spring of 1970, as a prospective middle-round National Football League draftee, I was haunted by a recurring nightmare. On a practice field somewhere, between two blocking dummies, I faced a monstrous offensive tackle who sat poised and quivering in his stance. To the tackle's left, on the far side of one bag, a center hunkered over a football. Behind the center, a quarterback. Behind the quarterback, a running back, whom I was required to bring down after shedding the tackle's block. It was a ritual of pain known as the... More >>>