- Associated Press - Saturday, July 5, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - There is the empire and then there is the escape. Beyond the tall grass that flanks Indiana 37 north of Bloomington, there are both.

Merely a long toss away from his Scholars Inn wholesale bakery facility is the Indiana Cutters’ occasional practice field, where Lyle Feigenbaum has returned to the game he thought he left behind almost three decades ago.

There is new life in football for Feigenbaum, a full-time restaurateur and part-time quarterback with the local semi-pro outfit. Yet no one saw this coming for the 46-year-old, neither he nor - perhaps especially - his wife.

But the game has a pull to it and, age be damned, Lyle Feigenbaum has been sucked back into the huddle, The Herald Times reports (http://bit.ly/TU07OD ).

They aren’t wearing pads this Wednesday night, only helmets. A narrow road defeat last week is enough to bring roughly 20 of them to the fields at old Brown Elementary for a bye week practice, Feigenbaum among them.

He occupies a curious role as a backup - some might say emergency - quarterback these days, a kind of will-he or won’t-he position in his first year of organized football since graduating from North Central in the late 1980s. He’s appeared in two games and he threw for two touchdowns in his first start of the season last month in a win over the Michiana Thunderhawks. And for as much as playing this game means to Feigenbaum, he and his wife, Kerry, are also realistic about his future on the field.

There are very real and very serious limitations for a 40-something man playing a violent game. But he’s kept himself on the roster, allowing for cool summer nights like this one, where he can throw the ball around, enjoy hanging around the guys and have a little fun.

After losing starting quarterback Robbie Colon to an injury last week, the Cutters are in a next-man-up situation and Feigenbaum has been tasked with preparing another backup, Lakarian Jones, for duty.

It’s clear that quarterback is not a natural position for Jones, but he’s trying. He and Feigenbaum trade reps, each dropping back and slinging balls across the open field. While working on hitch routes, Jones underthrows a receiver on the outside and, as the ball skids across the grass, Feigenbaum meets him back at the pocket, a confined space marked by four cones at midfield.

“What you’re doing is throwing all wrist,” he advises. “Use your shoulders.”

It takes a few more tosses before the advice registers, but Jones comes back moments later and throws a crisp ball back to the outside.

“Way to look him off,” Feigenbaum says. “Good throw, man. Good throw.”

This is a relationship that has been mutually beneficial for both sides since Feigenbaum began working out with the team - but not playing - last year.

Feigenbaum, a husband and father of two, gets a chance to jump back into the game he loves. The Cutters get a capable player and another helping hand.

“We’re volunteers when it comes to coaching,” Cutters coach Eric Anderson said. “So, anyone that’s gonna play a leadership role and be able to coach someone up, that’s priceless. But it’s not so much that he does it, it’s that he embraces it. He wants to lead and he wants the young guys to be better.”

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