Rake: A Short Story

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This all prompts a discussion about who had the guts to fire Rake after Scotty’s death. Paul says that Scotty was the wrong kid to have died, because his uncle, John Reardon, was the Superintendent of Education. He was the only one with the authority to fire Rake, and that’s exactly what he did. Rake had no answers when people asked what purpose there was in running young men in a sauna until they puked. He stayed home, worked the phones, and tried to ride it out. It split the town right down the middle, with the Boosters threatening to cut off funds and holding an Eddie Rake Revival. However, Reardon wasn’t budging, and even went so far as to fire every coach who refused to take Rake’s place. Finally, the Griffin brothers, former players for…show more content…
Twice during their senior year, Nat had managed to miss the ball completely with his foot, creating some of the most watched video footage of all. The second miss had resulted in a 94 yard run for a touchdown - he had been standing in his own end zone, missed the ball completely, and then, in a series of scrambles and more attempts to kick it, he finally picked up the ball and ran it for the TD. Every other player including the opposing school was laughing so hard that no one could have stopped him if they tried! Rake later gave Nat the Award for the Ugliest Touchdown of the Year. When Neely enters the shop, Nat is overwhelmed to see him. Neely, on the other hand, is more than curious about Nat’s abundance of earrings and ponytail. Nat admits that he is gay to satisfy Neely’s curiosity, and Neely admits that the knee injury was another lifetime for…show more content…
No one there seems to recognize him, which is just fine with him. For a moment, he feels 18 again, because little has changed there in 15 years. Even though basketball was a second-level sport at Messina High, they had one of the finest arenas in the state. This was all due to Rake who helped get a bond issue passed in the late 70’s. Of course, he then used the lobby of the arena to have a massive display case built to house all his trophies and achievements. For a moment, Neely is lost in this glorious tribute to the brilliance of Rake and his players, but comes to the realization that it is more a shrine to Rake, where his followers can worship at his alter. He feels a twinge of regret for those Messina kids who had trained and succeeded but went unnoticed, because they played other sports. At the bell and the change of class, Neely sees a football player wearing the green Spartan letterman jacket and walking with the customary strut of someone who owned the hall. Neely thinks to himself, “Come back in a few years, big boy, and they will not know your name.” Later in the afternoon, Neely visits Karr’s Hill where Rake had sat and watched all the games after he had been fired. He looks out over the field where there are now new players preparing nervously for Friday night and where Rabbit still mows the field. He had never lost there, and now the memories come floating back. Not wanting to remember them, he

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