When I played high school football, the worst thing our coach could make us do in the middle of practice was up-downs. They are exactly what they sound like. You run in place and when you hear the whistle, you hit the ground like you are practicing a bomb drill in the military and pop back up for more.
These are usually done as a punishment for not doing something correctly in practice. It isn’t fun at all.
Sometimes, we would taunt our coach and challenge him to do something against us in practice thinking he wouldn’t be able to do it simply because he was not an athlete anymore. Whether it be racing us down the field or trying to kick a field goal, we had fun with it and we usually won the bet. Sometimes, he would actually complete the challenge and we would have to add on extra sprints or, yes, do up-downs.
The North Myers High School football team learned why you shouldn’t be over confident when challenging your coach. The Red Knights were practicing when the challenged head coach Earnest Graham to hit the crossbar on the field goal post with a football from the fifty yard line.
The bet? If Coach Graham hit it, the team would give him fifty up-downs. The most I did in high school in one go was twenty. I surely don’t want to know what fifty was like.
Needless to say, Coach Graham completed the challenge.
When you think about it, the crossbar, which is at the back of the ten-yard endzone, is actually sixty yards away. That was pretty impressive. Maybe next time his team will think before they challenge him.