I dropped my youngest son off this morning at 6:00 AM for the first football practice of the 2007 season. As I drove away I went back to 1974. Starting that year I went through them for six years… and hated every minute of every practice I endured. If you haven’t been through this punishment for loving to play the game of football on Friday night, this post won’t make much sense.
Summer football two a day practices. Hated… reviled… resented… dreaded. Sweltering heat and high humidity is always there. The last thing you want is rain (RUDY! RAYMOND!) because the sun comes out afterward and the humidity goes up even higher. Coaches always seemed to be in a bad mood and as a result they pushed us hard. Usually there were a few that quit because they couldn’t handle it. In my day we all took salt pills for some unknown, odd, strange reason. And we didn’t get water breaks during practice either because the coach believed “Water is for sissies.”
Why do I bring all that up? BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE TO GO THROUGH TWO-A-DAYS ANY MORE! Every August since 1980 (The last year I played football) I have thanked God I don’t have to go through the hades of August practice. But then when the first whistle blows on that first Friday night & the first time I hear the band play the fight song & the first time there is a nip in the air I miss it all.
Oh but what I would give to just one more time play on Friday night! The excitement… butterflies… the crowd cheering… and all that goes along with high school and college football is intoxicating.