I had my shot, and I blew it. It’s all such a weird blur that I don’t even know what happened, exactly.
I had the ball in my hands.
I looked to my left, home plate is just a few feet away.
I see the runner gaining speed as he rounds third base in the corner of my eye.
I start to throw the ball.
I feel the ball leave my fingers for the game winning out.
AND I MISS!
Just thinking about my massive failure makes me want to gag. I just keep replaying the scene in my mind over and over again that I don’t even realize the team was out of the bus and walking towards Subway.
This was supposed to be our victory sandwich run. Now I guess it’s just lunch.
“Hey Blake, you comin’ man?” Gunther peeks his head in the bus and tries to get me out. I just look away out the window and don’t say anything. I can hear him walk towards me until he drops himself into the seat behind mine.
“Dude. It’s fine! The whole team should have done better to win. This game is not solely on you.” He says.
“Yea, but maybe if I could throw the ball better, we coulda won.” I kick the seat in front just stare at the worn out leather.
Gunther sighs, “Yea. But Jamie could have missed the catch before. Or the runner could have run back to 3rd and the game would go on.” He puts a hand on my shoulder and shakes me, “Point is, we played as a team and we lost as one.”
I hear all the right things and I still feel like a bag of shit.
“Look man, I get it. You’re the captain. You have to give me this pep talk and make me feel less of a loser. But honestly, I just don’t feel like celebrating right now.” I look out the window, clenching my jaw.
“If you want to sit in here like a drama queen, day dreaming about one small failure, then that’s on you.” He starts to stand, “But when you start to realize that it’s just a game, come inside for some sandwiches.”
And with that, he left and hopped off the bus.
I let out a long heavy breath and keep staring out the window.
I’m not a drama queen. But I ain’t no winner either.
After sitting for 10 minutes in this empty bus in the hot Arizona summer I start to realize how crazy I am. I can’t sit in the bus! I’ll sweat to death! But I also can’t just go inside with the team. A loser. A sucky baseball player. A failure.
I can feel my face get hot with rage. I can’t help myself and just start punching the seat in the front of me.
And I keep punching until my arms get tired and I’m breathing heavy. I throw my head back and look up at the ceiling. I can see small dents of the baseballs we accidentally threw too high and hit the ceiling with.
It’s crazy, but I do feel calmer now. And I can feel my hunger start to grow. I could go for some food. I just wish I didn’t have to go in there.
I start to move and make my way off the bus. I look to my left and there’s Subway full of the team. I look to my right and I see another food place.
Johnny’s Burgers and Dogs.
I jump off the last step and walk over to it and yea, for sure says hot dogs. I don’t even think twice about it and decide to go in.
It’s a normal joint. Bright green walls. Soda fountains. Burger pictures.
I walk over to the menu and it seems basic enough.
I must be in a trance because the cashier says, “So… do you need another minute or….?” I look over at her and nod my head.
“I’ll just have your double cheeseburger with bacon and some fries.” I look back at her and pull out my wallet.
“Would you like a drink with that?” She asks.
“Uh yea. Medium’s fine.” I hand over some cash and place some tip money in the jar.
The cook behind the counter throws some red, raw ground beef on the large skillet and the girl hands me a cup.
Well. At least it’s fresh.
I sit down at a table by the window. I don’t need the bus to leave without me. That would just be the icing on this crappy cake of a day. I slurp on my Dr Pepper and wait for the burger to come out.
It doesn’t take long for the cashier to come by with the food. I offer a smile for thanks and look at the food. I still feel like a dumbass, but the smell of this is making my mouth water.
I dig right in and man! This burger is amazing! I try not to take too big of bites, but I can’t help it! So juicy and tender. I give the burger a break and pop some fries into my mouth. I roll my eyes. So good!
I am so focused on my delicious burger and fries, that I forget how shitty I felt. I just focused on taking that next bite and enjoyed this moment.
Man. I don’t know if I was just starving or if that was one bomb-ass burger, but I’m licking my fingers cuz it’s so good!
I see the team start to file out of the Subway and slowly beehive their way back to the bus.
I wipe my mouth with a napkin and get up to throw everything away. I look back and see a burger picture that holds the ingredients to a perfect burger.
I walk over to it, still slurping on my Dr Pepper and read each item. Maybe Gunther was right. Maybe, I shouldn’t hate myself for losing the game because all of us were there to make a win and even tho I had the last mistake, other people made mistakes too.
Everything comes together to create something great. Even a burger. Even a baseball team.
I throw away my cup and make a quick jog towards the bus.
Food coma is settling in. I can feel it.
I jump onto the bus and think, it’s okay. I’ll be okay. The next season starts up soon and I have a feeling, it’ll be great!
My Personal Review
I actually first tried this place on a whim using Uber eats for the first time. Even tho the burgers were delivered a little cold, I still loved it so much that I had to go back and try it fresh!
It didn’t disappoint! Honestly, when I first went to eat there, I was a little taken aback because I would not have found it otherwise. But truly the ingredients were fresh, the burgers were made to order and it was scarf-down good!
The fries are a good shareable size imo, but still super delicious! The buns aren’t your typical sesame seed, fast food bun, but a nice, fresh idk what bun! You should definitely check them out and add all the toppings! I had a single, with bacon to keep it simple, but next time I’ll add the grilled onions! Also, my burger burger came so freshly made that I didn’t let the cheese melt before my photo… forgive me, I just wanted to eat it 🙂
Johnny’s Burgers and Dogs – http://www.johnnysbgr.com
3141 S McClintock Dr
Tempe, AZ 85282