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Today's "Knock Out" Game Has A Dark History
by Leah Sellers
2013-12-07 11:34:48
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Any Time and AnyWhere during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s in the Deep South of the U.S. of A…..
“You fella’s ready to go Nigger-Knockin’ ?” Cory yelled out to his football Buddies.
“You betcha’ , J.D. !” Philip answered.  “I got my trusty two-by-four board here loaded and ready for bear !”
“And I got the beer, Boys !  Old Man Whittaker let me have it for free from his General Store earlier today.  He said that we deserved a little somethin’ special for winnin’ State this year.  Yoo-hoo, Boys !  What a way to end our football season this year !   A night of Joy Ridin’, free beer and Nigger-Knockin’ !”  Tully gleefully announced.
Hoopin’ and hollerin’ the boys, in their red, lettered jackets all hopped into Cory’s daddy’s T-Bird, and sped off for a night of adventurous Traditional meanness.
“Alright Boys, we’re officially on the ‘wrong side of the tracks‘,”  Cory guffawed, and took another swig out of his bottle of beer.  “Keep an eye out.”
“Hey, hey.  Look up ahead a couple of blocks.  Do you see what I see ?”  Philip asked expectantly.
“Where’s the Board. Boys ?  Who’s gonna take the first swipe of the evening’ ?  Cory asked.
“I brought the dang Board.  So, I’m the First batter up, fella’s.  Tully announced challengingly.
“What’s so special about that Board anyway, Tully ?” J.D. asked.
“My daddy passed it down to me.  He told me that he and his Buddies used to get drunk on moonshine, and ride around in a ole beat up Ford huntin’ for niggers to knock.  See the notches carved into the bottom of the Board, fella‘s ?  Each notch is a Nigger Knocked.”  Tully explained with pride. 
“Slow down, Cory.  Can you fella’s tell whether it’s a nigger or not ?” Philip asked.
“It’s a tall man with curly dark hair all over his head for sure.  Yeah, Tully, I think it’s nigger.  We‘re in Nigger Town ain‘t we ?” J.D. slurred.
“Alright, roll down the window, and git that board ready, Tully.  We’re closin’ in on him.”  Cory ordered.
“Don’t you worry about me none, Cory.  I was born ready.”  Tully answered jokingly.
“You are so full of it, Tully.”  Philip chortled.  “Here take one more swig of this here beer for courage, my Man.”
Tully grabbed the beer from his Friend’s hand and emptied its contents.
“Aw, man, I didn’t say to drink the whole dang thang !  Give me another bottle J.D.”  Philip whined loudly.
“You Boys, shut up now.  We’re closin’ in on our Prey.  Git ready Tully.” Cory said expectantly.
Tully rolled down his rear window, and readied his Board. 
The T-Bird rumbled right up next to the Innocent Walker, and Tully took his swing.  The Board made contact with the back of the Innocent Walker’s head, and his target went down face first onto the pavement of the sidewalk.
“Hey wait a minute !  Was that a white boy ?!”  Philip rasped loudly.
“Stop the car, Cory !!  Pull over  !!”  J.D. yelled.
The T-Bird lurched to a sudden stop, and all four Boys bolted from the car, leaving all four doors open wide, and ran over to the motionless body on the sidewalk.
“Philip, you keep a look out for Nosey-Pokes.  Come on fella’s let’s take a look at him.”  Cory ordered.
Together the Boys rolled the unconscious body over onto his back.
“Jumpin’ Gee-hosa-fat !  I knew it !  It’s Old Man Whittaker’s Boy !”  Philip cried out loud.
How’d you know, Philip ?”  Cory asked.  “Why didn’t you say somethin’ sooner ?”
“’Cause I didn’t really notice anything in particular about him, other than his curly hair until we got right up on him.  That was when I noticed the flyin’ eagle on the back of the leather jacket his old man handed down to him.  Old Man Whittaker used to be a pilot in the Air Force.  And then it was too late.  The damage got done before I could open my mouth quick enough.”  Philip spit out angrily.  “My God, Boys.  What are we gonna’ do ?”
“Nothin‘.”  Cory announced emphatically.  “Everybody git back into the T-Bird.  Quick.  We gotta’ git outta’ here before anybody sees us.”
“We can’t just leave Jim layin’ on the side of the road like this, Cory,”  Tully said pleadingly.
“Oh yes we can.  Now, everybody git into the car.  We’re leavin’ !  Cory reiterated.
Everybody, but Tully scurried to the T-Bird.  He stood frozen with indecision, nervously staring down at Jim’s limp body, and looking after his Friends imploringly.
“Come on, Tully !”  Cory yelled.  “I’ll leave without you.  Just see if I
won’t !”  Cory disappeared behind the driver’s wheel of the T-Bird and revved its powerful engine in warning.
Tully cast one more pain filled look down at Old Man Whittaker’s son, Jim, and ran for the car.
As the T-Bird’s wheels squealed and burned rubber down the road in wild escape, Tully turned around in the back seat, and peered out the car’s rear window.  He watched the lump, that was Jim’s body, grow smaller in the speeding distance, and finally disappear into the darkness of the Night.
“I will never ForGive myself for this Boys.  Never.”  Tully whispered.
That evening Marked the end of Tully’s traditional evenings of Joy Ridin’ and Nigger-Knockin’ fun and games.  He burned his daddy’s Board in the big trash barrel in his Family’s back yard.

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