It was Thanksgiving morning. The clock was running out, and the other team was fourth and inches from making a touchdown that would give them the game. The ball was hiked to the quarterback, who faked left and tossed to his right. I went forward and wrenched it from the poor man's hands. Throwing off two burly linebackers, I made a dash for the other end of the field. I reached the 50 yard line, the 40, the 30. I could feel the breath of the other team's desperate players running hard to catch me. I was 20 yards out, then 10, and was just about to cross the goal line when I felt hands pull on my back and begin to drag me down. But it was too late, so with a smile, I went down with them, the ball firmly clutched in my hands as I fell across the goal line.
I had scored the winning touchdown! Crashing to the ground, the tip of my right ring finger got caught just wrong beneath the football and was twisted horrendously to a 45 degree angle. I felt the crack and the pain. Pulling myself up from the twisted mass of bodies that had just tackled me, I looked to my finger and realized it was clearly not right, so I held it with my left hand and wrenched it with a satisfying double-pop back into it's proper position. It didn't hurt much, not 'til later, so I just smiled to my teammates as they lifted me onto their shoulders in triumph at winning the Annual Turkey Bowl! What a day!
Okay, so it's not quite what happened. Truth be told, it was an hour into a three hour game when I was reaching to pull the flags off a friend of mine (and missing) as he twisted and knocked my finger out of joint. Honestly, though, which story is more interesting? The one where I triumphantly win the game? Or the one where I get injured reaching for my guy friend's back side?!
In any case, it was Thanksgiving, and it really didn't hurt much at first. I was doing a pretty good job convincing myself throughout the day that I had just dislocated my finger and that there was no other damage, as I was able to move it; but the pain and the swelling continued to increase throughout the day. I refused to go to "Urgent Care", though, because I believed it would be an absolute madhouse with people lined up needing stitches from mis-cutting turkeys, or others with broken bones on bone-headed wanna-be sportsmen (like me), or still others who needed their stomachs pumped because they'd eaten the stuffing they shouldn't've cooked inside the turkey.
Nevertheless, reality won me over (and dinner was done), so I went to the doctor at about 5 pm. It was a ghost-town there! I went right in, was X-rayed, and went home within twenty minutes. Sure enough, though, the finger is broken. I've got the badly bruised finger on the outside to prove it, and the X-ray that clearly shows the break in case there was any doubt. Now I'm looking at maybe needing surgery (I'll find out when I go see the doctor in two days) and have to keep the finger mostly immobile for the next two months. It really stinks.
But I did have fun at the football game ...