Marcus Toomey snitching against Team Canada seeker & badass Austin Wallace; this is how that ten-second panic happens | Photo credit: Dany Ly Photography
by Marcus Toomey
This is my little love letter to those last ten seconds before the seekers are released.
“You’re going to rise to the occasion, or you’re going to fail. Don’t fail.”
This is the less colorful version of the thought that goes through my head 17 minutes and 50 seconds into every game. Every. Damn. Game. Pulse pounding, heart racing, whether I’m bent at the waist with my snitch tail wiggling, screaming nonsensical encouragement to my seeker, or frantically making sure I’m ready to stop the game as a ref.
I live for those ten seconds.
I love the little things in sports. The occasional cheekiness, that extra-long handshake from that opponent you covered all game, that small moment you realize you know you’re about to make that catch, that goal.
Those ten seconds, the countdown during which we all prepare for whatever the chaos of snitch play will bring our way, is proof that we play a sport like no other. Baseball, basketball, football, hockey—with more traditional sports, you know how much time you have. You know when to expect the last play. In our sport? We all have to accept that whatever we’re trying to do—score, defend, make that game-saving beat—everything depends on snitch play. I cherish that rush of torturous adrenaline every time I’m on-pitch.
To be a snitch in those ten seconds? That’s the worst best possibility. Sure, the crowd loves you, and that cute person from the other team thinks you look amazing in snitch shorts, but if you don’t fight like the seekers are trying to steal your favorite child soul right from your body, you’ll find yourself with little to show for it but embarrassment and the hard hit of the Velcro patch into your lower back.
Yet we still do it. We still play this game: we chase, we beat, we seek, we keep, we ref, we snitch. Knowing we’re headed for a chaotic, stressful, mind-boggling period of time where pretty much anything can happen—we still play.
To me that’s beautiful.
It also means we all are going to develop stress ulcers in our thirties. Can’t wait.