Average People Are Telling Their War Stories About Playing Against Famous Athletes In High School And I’m Shocked Some Of Them Are Still Alive


Can you imagine joining the high school football team for chicks and clout and then be presented with task of trying to block, say, Jadeveon Clowney? That is a torture I would not wish on my worst enemy.

Former high school burnouts (guilty!) are telling their stories about facing the top athletes in the world before they became household names and it has become my favorite Twitter thread of 2019.



My friend who played DT against LaDanian Tomlinson said after the first hit he didn’t feel the right side of his body until morning

Jason Starrett:

Troy Smith laid me out on the 1st play of a 7-on-7 passing scrimmage.

Looked at me emotionless and just goes “nah.”

Derek Blaylock:

I got lucky and made a spring training roster for the Royals 11 years ago. First ab is against Verlander for the Tigers. First two pitches 99-100 paint. Third is a 88mph curveball that moved three feet. I went straight back to the back fields where I belonged.

Dawg Sports:

Justin Lalor:

Sandy Creek era Calvin Johnson hit a home run off me that went so far he (sincerely) apologized while rounding first.

Robert Mays:

We played against Rashard Mendenhall in a 7 on 7 tournament my junior year. A real exchange between teammates: “Why is he wearing shoulder pads?” “He’s not.”


I played against Isaac Rochell, who’s a DE for the Chargers now. After blowing by our 180-pound left tackle, he essentially picked up our QB and laid him on the turf. Probably could’ve killed him if he’d wanted to. Nice guy.

Bryan Mac:

Editor’s Note: That’s Ben Braden, who is currently on the New York Jets practice squad.

Mastin Jones:

My friend played against Dwight Freeney in high school. On kickoff my buddy sought him out and tried to knock him on his ass. It didn’t work and the rest of the game Dwight kicked my friend’s ass specifically.

Matt Berry:

Editor’s Note: Holy fucking hell.


Ben Brendel:

My roommate was a LB against Nick Foles in the TX State Playoffs. He came on an edge blitz with a clear lane to the QB. He hit him high around the shoulder pads but Foles didn’t move. Now my buddy is around his ankles trying to bring him down and Nick throws a flatfooted 40yd TD

Jack Newman:

I wanna play!

I played against Lou Williams at AAU Nationals in 2004. He was committed to play at the University of Georgia at the time but declared for the NBA Draft soon thereafter.

We had what we thought was a solid squad, but quickly learned that we weren’t in Massachusetts anymore.

The game still feels like a bad dream to me and I couldn’t tell you how many points Lou scored but I can tell you it was however many he wanted before he showed mercy or just simply got bored.

The only way I can express how transcendently good this dude was at basketball is in this way: in the second half, after he crossed over our point guard, spun in the lane, and two-hand dunked off of two feet on our 6’7” center (his 16th most fascinating play of the game), our best player grabbed the ball from the net and just started hysterically laughing. During the game.

In that moment, my teammate felt what we all did in that moment: silliness for ever picking up a basketball and naivety for thinking we were halfway decent.

Last night, buzzed off of malt liquor in my stained undershirt and undies, I watched Lou drop 27 on my Celtics.

For those interested in how my basketball career panned out, I scored 8 points on 3-11 shooting in my men’s league game and almost started a fight.


Matt Keohan Avatar
Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.