Coaching the Nerd
Super-bod meets super-brain
What happens when marshmallow-bodied supernerd Sean volunteers to be on the jocks’ flag-football team? It screws Bubba’s fraternity’s chances at the coveted flag football title, that’s what.
Bubba is drafted to be Sean’s personal trainer. He has to whip Sean into shape and make sure he doesn’t F up their team.
Sean may be a supernerd, but to Bubba he’s funny, and wise, and kinda cute. He’s also the one person on campus who doesn’t see Bubba as a big, stupid jock.
One BIG problem. Sean’s motivation for getting into shape is to lose his virginity -- and Bubba isn’t happy when guys start sniffing around.
But Bubba’s straight. Isn’t he?
Can a big, dumb jock from Nowhere, Wisconsin change his whole life for a genius who just wants to get laid?
COACHING THE NERD is a total makeover, opposites attract, My Fair Lady trope, bi awakening, campus romance – that grabs your flag.
“Go back! Go back! Go back!”
Go back to what? my brain queried. Simpler times? Home? The starting line?
Or perhaps to the moment before I volunteered to be on the Alpha Lambda Alpha flag-football team. Yes, let’s go back to that, please.
Guys scurried around the large open field next to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, baseball diamond. I studied their movements but could discern no rhyme or reason to them, and, therefore, they were difficult to emulate. There was so much stopping, and then there’d be what looked like a random melee. I’d read the flag-football rules online, so I knew the focus was on the football and the flags that were belted around our waists. But surely there must be more rules to this game than the three-sentence description that was given to me.
The group scattered like a flock of birds startled into flight, and then they were heading right at me.
I turned and attempted to run away.
“Ooof.” A body collided with mine, and I staggered. I glanced to see the flag-football team captain, Tray Blackstone, scowling at me.
“How the fuck are you always in the way?” he demanded rudely, his lip curled. He ran on, half-backward, looking into the distance.
Well, if he was running in that direction, perhaps I should as well?
Wait. Wait. I saw the ball now. A guy named Rex had it and was weaving as he ran.
Should I go after him? Was he on the opposing team? Well, that seemed like relevant information, didn’t it? I should have been apprised of who was on what team. Printed rosters, perhaps, could be distributed at the start of each game. Or colored shirts distinctive enough to visually distinguish Team X from Team O? They likely had that for league games, but since this was a practice session, everyone wore ordinary clothes, mostly layers of sweats and thermals on this rainy, muddy February day. Surely it wasn’t only newbies like me who would benefit from some team-identifying apparatus?
Oh dear. I was the only person left standing in this entire part of the field. Everyone else was down near the goal at the south end. I jogged in that direction, trying my best to locate the—
“Sean! It’s Sean, right? Are you just gonna stand there all day, or are you gonna play?”
I looked at the huge guy jogging toward me. I knew his name was Bubba, though probably everybody on campus knew that. He was distinctive among the student body for his bulk—had to be at least 6’5” and closer to 300 pounds than 200. His head, with its closely shorn dark hair and beard, loomed above everyone else on campus. I’d heard his booming laugh coming from the ALA’s front lawn on nights when they had parties over there and I had my window open while studying. He’d never looked at me before, though, and he might have been scary jogging toward me except that his brown eyes were friendly.
He stopped a few feet from me and put his hands on his hips. “Sean, dude, you gonna play?”
“Yes. Well. I was just trying to figure out exactly what I should be doing. To play the game, I mean. It’s rather fast-paced, isn’t it? And no one explained the, er, teams.”
He got a befuddled look and rubbed his palm over his hair. “Um. Okay.” He glanced down the field. He was sweaty and glowing in that robust, athletic way. He looked as if he belonged here like a cell swimming around in its native habitat. Feeling as out of place as I did, I was envious.
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