I write this post as I am enjoying yet another NFL Sunday spending the whole day on the couch. Although I never made it to the holy grail of the sport of football which is the NFL, I did have a long career starting from flag football all the way to college.
Football has been a sport that really molded me to the human being I am today. I can confidently say that most of my top attributes were developed from the hours on the football field. Other than myself, I could also say that most of my teammates became better people from playing football for a good amount of time.
As I did play for over 15 years, I was very fortunate to walk away from the sport without suffering any major injuries. Eliminating the heart issue that ended my career, I only missed two games throughout my entire career of playing football. The common concern throughout the sport is how many concussions that players develop throughout their playing time.
Other than concussions, most injuries that happen in the sport can happen in other sports more often as well. I can definitely see the concern from parents when it comes to deciding whether their kid plays the sport or not. As the years go by, I will say that football is starting to become a safer sport with new technologies and rules being formed. Yes, I said it – football still can be safe as I made it out really untouched.
The one common theme that a football player goes through is dragging to practices the start of a new week or going through tough drills every day. I definitely experienced the “why am I here” feeling a lot when practicing. Unfortunately, tough practices and poundings on the body come with the sport.
Although in my mind I was physically tired during the season and only look forward to gamedays, the ones that last on the field are the ones who push through the pain at every practice. With all of that being said, I would do anything to go through that constant pain and soreness every day. I miss the 100 yard sprints 20 times in a row after a long practice. It is crazy to say it, but once you hang up the cleats, you start to miss these things.
Game day was a different feeling. Usually, I was never able to get a full night of sleep before a game. The adrenaline kicks in the night before and it doesn’t go away. Whether you are in high school or college, game days have a different feel around the campus. All eyes are on you. That is the beauty about playing the most popular sport in the country.
Whether you have a short career or long career, cherish every moment of being an athlete on the football field. The friends that you make and the bonds that you form from the long hour days are something that will never go away. The life lessons that you learn, will carry on for the rest of your life if you take them when adversity hits on the field.
Happy 100th season to the NFL and here’s to 100 more!