My DC’s suspension was lifted last night by the league director, who clearly just didn't want to deal with my DC and took the path of least resistance. The assistant to the league director was very angry about the decision and in tears, as he thought he had successfully ended my reign of terror on the league. I feel bad for those people on the photo developers’ message board he moderates, as he undoubtedly went back to his aunt's house and unleashed his frustrations on them.
But all that is behind us now, and my DC returned to the team for tonight's practice in a blaze glory. Because his shift at Sonic ended a little late, he was going to be about 15 minutes late for practice, and I made sure to keep the lifting of his suspension a secret so that he could surprise the players with a grand entrance.
While we were finishing up warm-ups, his white LeBaron convertible came tearing into the parking lot and screeched to a stop. His girlfriend was driving -- he currently is not allowed by the State of Georgia to operate a motor vehicle. He then jumped out of the car's passenger side and ran full speed in his work uniform down the hill and onto the field. He ran through the agility ropes (sort of, he tripped and fell midway through), hit each of the five dummies on the blocking sled, and then form tackled the tackling dummy into the ground at full speed. The players were all going crazy.
I also arranged ahead of time to have the piccolo player's parents address the team during the mid-practice break. Although it wasn't my true motive, I pitched it to them as a chance to have educated people teach these kids the importance of a good education, and I was hoping it would serve as an olive branch of sorts given the rocky start I got off to with them.
They both arrived looking the part (I swear to god these people are the real life version of Bobbi and Marty Culp from SNL). The piccolo player's mom spoke to the players about how her undergraduate years at Sarah Lawrence, where she majored in theater. Of course, none of the players (or coaches) other than the piccolo player had heard of Sarah Lawrence, and the whole discussion really confused the hell out of my DC. He asked her at one point if she felt the celebrity phone photo hacking scandal last year had hurt her degree, and she had no idea what he was talking about.
In any event, once they finished up and left, I addressed the team to ensure the right message was conveyed. I told the players that this was a cautionary tale about what could happen if they focused too much on academics -- you end up never lettering, wearing sandals with socks, and either being a middle school choral director or a professor at a community college. Even the piccolo player was nodding along in agreement, so the message clearly resonated.
This team is clearly ready for the challenge ahead tomorrow tonight. I haven't felt this confident going into a game all season.