PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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High Hippies

 

Back in the day, when I was a regular fixture on the gridiron, doing the helmet-to-helmet thing, talkin' trash, ringing the bells of defenseless receivers (and so forth), I became known as a master of the high-hip block.

You never hear about the high-hip block anymore. There is no Wikipedia entry for it, and if you search the internet for “high-hip block” using your favorite browser (there are more than one, you know), you’ll find lots of information about aligning your hips and of high pressure equipment, but not much about the high-hip block that was an essential element in the Bishop Grimes Cobras (high school) football playbook.

We Cobras ran the triple option, which meant the quarterback had the option of handing off to the fullback, pitching out to the trailing halfback, or taking it himself and getting creamed behind the line of scrimmage (or "line of spinach," as my dearly departed dad used to call it). Usually, he’d select option 3.

But if he decided to pitch, the trailing running back’s only hope of gaining yards was to have the lead back (me, often) lay out like Pete Rose sliding into second, throwing his whole body at the charging cornerback, who’d fight off the block by kneeing running backs like me in the midsection. (By the way, playing this game was actually not a punishment. I volunteered every year to get beaten up).

The HHB was an almost impossible block to throw, despite the years of training some of us received in it. This is probably why it has been abandoned and now lives on only in the memory of old timers like me. Soon, I plan to gather together high hip block aficionados from that era to have one big, blowout extravaganza in Vegas, where we will tell stories of blocking high on the hip, gamble our families’ life savings away, and then let all the details stay in Vegas.

Did you ever throw a high hip block? If you did, I’ll put you on the invite list.

Give America A Sandwich
The Dumpling Duchess
 

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