Stefano drops back to pass, he scans the field looking for an open target, he pumps once, pumps again, he sees Varun streak open from the corner of his eye and he fires a dart in his direction. Varun reaches up to snag the sandwich out of the air but he cannot corral it and he watches as all 6 inches of the deliciously toasty meatball marinara come crashing to the ground. Varun smiles and looks back at Stefano while chuckling “My bad, I’ll get it next time” Stefano replies while laughing “No worries my dude.”
As I sit here during the second semester of my Freshman year and think back to the very beginning of my college experience, my first semester in this crazy, fast-paced, and everchanging place that is Hopkins, playing football with a subway sandwich at 1 AM on the beach was easily my favorite memory, and It’s not even close.
One Friday night last semester when I was in the library working at around 12:30 AM, I realized that I was starving, and the only places open were Subway and University Market (Our local convenience store that sells hot snack foods and sandwiches). I was really feeling a Meatball sub so I decided to crawl out of my hole in Brody Learning Commons and stroll down to subway for some toasty goodness. On the way down there I heard some familiar voices by the Hopkins sign, and as I looked over, sure enough, it was my friends Tyler, Gary, and Stefano. Right as they saw me they called out my name and I hit them with my favorite line “What are you goons doing here?” They laughed and responded by saying they wanted to have a chill night, so they were just eating sandwiches on the sign. I asked them If I could join and they said of course, with Stefano telling me to get the chicken parm from uni mini (what we call University Market). Even though the chicken parm sounded fantastic, I was just realllly craving that meatball sub, and so I hightailed it down to Subway and picked one up as fast as I could. Even though the lines at 1 AM on a Friday night were downright awful (everyone gets hungry late at night) I waited it out and eventually my delicious, steamy masterpiece was handed to me; I then hauled it back up to the Hopkins sign, plopped down next to Tyler, and immediately started devouring the sandwich. The sub was amazing, with the melty mozzarella creating a stringy blanket over the perfectly sauced meatballs, but even still I couldn’t finish the whole thing, and so I had half of it left over.
As soon as all four of us were done eating we hopped down from the sign and started horsing around on the beach. We were chasing each other around, tackling each other, and calling each other the stupid names that we’d called each other by for the last couple months. That was when I decided to take what remained of the meatball sub, and with a simple “Yo, Stefano, catch!” I threw it in his direction. Stefano gave me an odd look as I first threw it, punctuated with a “Yo, what the hell?” but as he caught it he just started laughing, and decided to pass it on to Tyler. Soon everyone was throwing the sandwich to each back forth across the beach, and what had at first been a very odd activity had now turned into poor mans (or poor college students) catch. Suddenly a lightbulb went off in my head and I, overconfidently, declared “GUYS! WHAT IF WE PLAY FOOTBALL WITH THE SUB?” At first I was met with looks of pure confusion and hesitance, but then the others looked at each, smiled, and said “why not?”
And so for the next hour we played the most odd, interesting, and thoroughly enjoyable game of 2-touch football I had ever played in my life, and over time, as we were playing, a small crowd started to build up on the Hopkins sign, watching us play. Every time I would look over there would be another person on the sign, and eventually people started coming off the sign and asking us if we could play. Soon enough we had a full-fledged game going, with unique, sub-induced rules and two very competitive teams. Even though our team came up on the short end of the stick (largely, I will admit, due to my inability to catch the sub – why you gotta be so slippery Subway?) it was still an absolutely enthralling experience, and one that I will hold onto for the rest of my life. Whenever I give a tour I make sure to tell my tour recipients this story, and whenever I pass the beach late at night with Tyler, Stefano, or Gary, we always look at it, look back at each other, and just start laughing.