The Perfect Gesture. The perfect form football tackle, that is the perfect gesture. The person that made this gesture was Gary Kmiec.
I witnessed this event for the first time, Labor Day, at the junior varsity football game against North Park College. The day was hot and humid, like a regular Chicago summer. The North Park Viking’s field was hardly appealing to the eye. The field was one of those contraptions of a baseball/football field combination. It was the third quarter of a very intense game, the score was 8-6 we were winning.
Both teams were relying on their defenses to stop the opposing offense and in our case to score. From what I have heard through the “grape vine” is that the offense of North Central isn’t the greatest, but we have one of the best defenses. The stands, like every other junior varsity game, had only a handful of people in them. Most of the die-hard fans were either family or girlfriends.
Unlike the North Park Vikings, who suited up over 60 players in their royal blue, our junior varsity team had suited up about 29 players total. Out of those 29 select few, only 13 were on the defensive side of the ball. North Park was on offense. The cardinal defense stood strong. It was second down and North Park needed five more yards to get the first down. I was not in the game at this time so I had an exceptional view.
The Viking quarterback dropped back 2 steps then he handed the ball off to the half back. Kmiec, like he had always been taught, mirrored the half back shuffling parallel with him. Kmiec accelerated towards the ball carrier. Then it happened.
The perfect gesture, the perfect tackle. This was it. Kmiec had reached top speed when he met the ball carrier. When they met, Kmiec placed his right shoulder pad in the gut of the running back, making him lose his breath. Kmiec then wrapped his hands around the back of the ball carrier and pinned him to the ground.
His helmet hit the ball directly, causing the pigskin to fly free from the running backs grip. Our free safety, Bob Goins, was right behind Kmiec and recovered the fumble on the North Park 25 yard line. The North Central crowd cheered and the North Central sidelines were in an uproar. The offense truggled against the mediocre North Park defense but they were able to score, making the score 14-6. The final score was 14-13, that gesture saved the game. The perfect tackle rarely appears in football games today because of the perfect positioning and timing of the individual.
This individual made perfect tackles in almost every game. Even though The Cardinals did not win a lot of games, these perfect tackles always helped to slow or stop the opponent, when the game was on the line. When I see one of these perfect tackles and a player that can recreate these tackles, I see them as leaders to the team. This gesture stands out from all other ordinary group tackles or ankle tackles because of the fact that it is man to man. The stronger and better trained of the two will win the fight. Kmiec displays that he is strong and perfectly trained when he does the perfect tackle and not even the best running backs in the CCIW (College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) can withstand such a blow.
This is someone who I look up to because of the fact that he can recreate the perfect tackle on demand. The perfect tackle is my perfect gesture.