Editor’s note: We are re-publishing here a 2014 column by BDN Maine Focus reporter Josh Keefe, as first published in Slate. In it, Josh talks about the futility of his football career at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor and the lessons it taught him.
I’ve spent more than a decade stewing over it, rolling the memories around in my head, wondering if it could’ve really been that bad. Now, I’m ready to accept my place in history. Of the thousands of American boys who have played quarterback for their high school football teams, I was the worst.
I went 0–23 as the starting quarterback for John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor, Maine, a perfectly imperfect record that came during a longer schoolwide run of 41 consecutive losses. The Bapst losing streak began in 1998, when I was an eighth-grader playing quarterback for a middle school team that won one game. It ended in 2003, in the second game of the first season after I graduated. As the guy under center for nearly three full seasons, that streak feels like mine more than anyone else’s.