Junior tells Rowdy about his plans to go to Reardan. He knows that Rowdy might get angry, but Rowdy "was (his) best friend and (Junior) wanted him to know the truth". He tells Rowdy that he is leaving the rez, and that he wants Rowdy to go with him. Rowdy at first does not take Junior seriously.
When Junior thinks about Reardan, he has a picture in his mind of the school against which his own school played flag football, basketball, and baseball last year, and lost embarrassingly every time. The only student from his own school who had any success at all in any of those games was Rowdy. Junior remembers that even in the Academic Bowl competition in which the schools engaged the year before, his own school lost by "a grand total of 50-1". When Junior thinks about the kids from Reardan, he thinks of kids who are "beautiful and smart and epic...filled with hope".
Rowdy "absolutely hate(s)" the idea of Junior going to Reardan. He becomes violently angry, and when Junior reaches out to him, Rowdy starts crying. When Rowdy realizing that he is crying, he begins to scream, making a sound that is "the worst thing (Junior'd) ever heard...it was pain, pure pain". Junior tells Rowdy that he has to go, or he will die, and that Rowdy can go with him, but Rowdy, overcome by rage, punches his best friend in the face (Chapter 7).