One of the things I truly miss are my High School Football days, even though I hated school with a passion. The practices were rough, and at the time I hated it alot. There are things about it I loved, and still love to this day.
1. The Camaraderie – It was like a brotherhood, which some bonds still remain today. When you bleed, sweat, and cry together it creates these bonds, and whenever I see a fellow player it’s like we never stopped being friends. I remember it was 2-a-day practices in the boiling late summer sun, and we were running an ungodly amount. I was the last of the team to finish, and i thought I was going to die, but there’s my whole team cheering me on, there is no other feeling that I could compare to it…but just awesome.
2. The Recognition – Now I’m not saying I lack in friends these days, but back then I was known for something I did well, instead of being just a guy you see in the bar all the time. Also being in the paper a few times helped feed my internal attention whore. Nothing compares to walking on the field at night, with the lights on, and a crowd cheering you, and screaming your name.
3. The Purpose - I am not really the leader of men, I am a damn good follower. The Coached gave us goals, and I endeavored to reach those goals. Every child I think needs this sort of structure, alas when the structure was gone and I was left to my own devices….let’s just say I went a little nuts. My Coach wanted me to lose weight to become faster, and stronger, In sophmore year I was pushing 380lbs, by the time senior year hit I was 275 of lean, mean monster. Couldn’t of done that without purpose that the coaches inspired in me. I ended up winning an award senior year as most improved player.
4. The Aggression – I got to release all my problems and woes on my opponent. The brutality of the game channeled my aggression in a way that was safe. My team was called the Titans, and I felt like one when I entered the battle. Hitting other players with full for force, or taking the blows defending the other players from harm. No matter how angry I was at the world, by the time practice, or a game was over, I didn’t have any of it. I remember at practice though, me and the other biggest guy of the team would square off, and just the crack of us colliding together was deafening, like two monsters of old going against each other…truly epic.
5. The Fun Times – Wasn’t all hard work, and brutality. Had some great times, like when me and fellow football players would goof on each other, or hang out. I remember a bunch of us going to a teen club, and just having a great time, or having one of the players toss a party. I remember a couple of african american teammates invited me to a party, and I was the only white guy there. That was a different experience for sure.
To this day, when I hear someones son is going into football, or is in football, I smile and envy them a little, cause I know it’s going to be one of the best time of their lifes.