Thursday Evening Ramblings

This time of year is special to me.  Anyone who ever buckled a chinstrap knows what I mean.  Each year, as football season comes around, the memories of my days in the pads come back like an old friend.  Yes, my knees paid the price.  Yes, my left shoulder sometimes hurts so much I can hardly stand it.  Yes, my body has permanent damage from the game, but I wouldn’t trade the memories for anything.  I never felt so alive as I did on the field.  There’s no way to explain it to anyone who never played.  I don’t know if it’s the same for other sports, but football is special.  Nothing else in my life has given me as much as football did.  I learned how to push myself beyond what I thought were my limits, how to focus my energies into one direction, how to have self-discipline, how to function as a part of a whole.

Through the years, I have had a reoccurring dream about being in practice and then a game.  Each time I wake up from that dream, I remember how it felt to be young and strong, full of life and unlimited potential.  I wouldn’t go back and relive those days — I’m not so foolish as to have forgotten the difficulties of youth — but I do wish for just one more game, one more practice, one more opportunity to smell the field from a three-point stance and stare down the line of scrimmage waiting for the snap.  It’s a glorious game, and to all of us who ever buckled a chinstrap, it’s that time of year once again…

It’s football time in Tennessee!

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