Word Count 497
Depreciation On A 2018 Mustang
By Josh McMullen
Jimmy caught the ball and immediately, his legs began pumping like pistons in a Mustang. There
was nothing but green and white in front of him, just like a hundred times before. That's what the
scouts were looking for, at least: after all, he was number-one prospect in the state of New York,
with every single college in the United States calling his name.
He had already decided he was going to Syracuse, unbeknownst to everyone but his family. He
just wanted to make them sweat a little while. He wanted all the attention on him for the next
little while as UC Berkeley and Texas and UAlbany were cooing sweet nothings of immediate
playing time and full rides in his ear. Jimmy would push them all away; he was going to go to
Newhouse and play on that Carrier Dome floor that he had knocked off the Briarcliff Bears on
that stormy Thanksgiving weekend.
His legs kept pumping as he crossed midfield, the closest defender closing in, but still about 10
yards away. He knew he could outrun all of them. With those legs, he had outran the
Voorheesville Blackbirds, the Watervliet Cannoneers, the Chatham Panthers… it would be no
problem to do it again, especially in front of a Cairo-Durham crowd of thousands chanting his
name. Jimmy relished all of it as he continued racing toward the end zone.
His legs brought him in full view of the cheerleaders, each chanting his name even louder. They
fawned over him like so many bobby-soxers had fawned over Sinatra. He flashed a lightning-
quick smile, and each and every heart melted. He then crossed the ten-yard line, oblivious to the
Rensselaer Ram coming in hot from his right side.
The collision was brutal, and Jimmy felt every single part of his leg – the bone, the muscle, the
ligaments – all give at once. He flew out of bounds at about the two-yard line when the pain
began to hit him like a white-hot flame. He slid to a stop right on top of the blue-and-white
mustang flanking the end zone, and the trainers were on him immediately. The crowd that had
just been chanting his name immediately fell silent, and the cheerleaders collapsed in tears. They
all knew what had just happened, and it made everything disappear in that split second, though to
Jimmy, it felt like hours.
The trainers and each and every doctor would say the same thing: he would play again, but it
would be a long, arduous process. Just as swiftly as they came, the scouts began to leave. They'd
write down that he was an injury risk, and it was best that they didn't waste a scholarship on a
wide receiver they weren't sure would be at full strength when he could come back. Syracuse
would stick around, and out of the kindness of their hearts, redshirt him.
The others were gone. After all, the depreciation on a 2018 Mustang was just too great.