|'The Senior,' 59-year-old Mike Flynt, plays football after 37-year layoff|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 13 October 2007 14:43|
His Sul Ross State teammates marched for a touchdown on their opening drive against Texas Lutheran and Flynt went in at left end on the extra-point unit. He sealed his block as the kick went through, marking his first game action in 37 years. He remained a fixture at that spot on extra points and field goals.
His first block wasn't much, but it didn't matter. The play culminated a comeback that began almost as a dare at a reunion this summer, then was delayed by the kind of lingering aches and pains that slow most card-carrying AARP members.
``I wasn't nervous,'' said his wife, Eileen, who'd met Flynt the year after he was kicked off the team right before what was supposed to be his senior season, thus had never seen him play before. ``It was just exciting. I thought I was going to be nervous.''
Flynt might be giving new meaning to being a college ``senior,'' but he's not the oldest ever as a 60-year-old played in 1997. However, he went in for one snap late in a blowout; Flynt is truly part of his Division III team, with expectations to eventually get in at his old position, linebacker. The Lobos have four games left and he expects to play in them all.
When Flynt ran in for his first play, his son, Micah, was the first to holler, ``There he goes!''
All six members of his immediate family, even 1 1/2-year-old Collin, screamed before, during and after the play. As Flynt ran back to the sideline, a fist pump showed his thrill.
``Awesome, awesome, awesome,'' said his oldest daughter, Delanie Flynt-Swanson. Then she turned to Collin and said, ``You're grandpa just played football!''
``How many other grandpas can say that?'' added son Micah Flynt.
``None. Zero,'' she said.
Before the first quarter ended, Sul Ross scored again, and Flynt went back to his same spot. When he returned to the sideline this time, he hugged the quarterback, then looked up into the stands and pointed at wife and grandson. Then he flashed another fist pump toward Delanie, who was videotaping his every move.
``I got all of that,'' she said, smiling as wide as he was.
His first good hit came on a second-quarter field goal try. The kick went through, but Texas Lutheran had called time. They did it again and Flynt again did his job, but the other end of the line didn't and a fake attempt was snuffed out.
M, and in recent years sold a piece of fitness equipment that he invented, with the military among his clients. In other words, he's in great shape.
He was quite a player back in the day, helping Odessa Permian (of ``Friday Night Lights'' fame) win its first state title in 1965. He wound up at Sul Ross in 1969 and in '70 he led the team in tackles. He was going to be a team captain in '71, but was ousted during two-a-days.
Flynt carried that regret throughout his life, sharing it with former teammates at a reunion this summer. One of them suggested he go back to school. Once he found out he was eligible, he did.
Now, he's played - and intends to keep playing, providing his body lets him.