|My first season of football|
This post continues from my first post which can be found here.
There are few things in life that get me as excited as football. Whether watching or playing I am completely entranced. I don’t find football attractive merely for the physicality, strategy, or vast range of skill-sets involved, but rather for the way in which these are combined to make it the greatest team sport ever. It is a collection of men, ranging from 160-360 pounds, who are willing to work together to achieve a common goal. While all sports require commitment and sacrifice, football is the most physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding sport there is. Vince Lombardi, arguably the greatest football coach ever (I mean they named the super bowl trophy after him) summed up the reason so many men love football when he said, “I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious.” At the core of all men is the desire to expend all of themselves to achieve something great. Football allows guys with all sort of skills to achieve victory while in close community with one another. Football really is awesome!
While I refuse to renounce my love of football, I also cannot deny that I have at times been defined by it. Throughout high school I relished my persona as “one of the guys” while at school and as the “tough football player” with my friends at church. Being that I have struggled heavily with finding my identity in others, I used football to elevate my status. While the way others viewed me provoked me to succeed, that motivation fails in comparison to the gifts God has given me.
Even though I am not physically dominating (at least to most people) I was motivated to continue in football due to my desire to help others. I absolutely HATE being in the spotlight, and even more so, I hate being recognized for work that I did; which is why playing a scout team lineman is one of my proudest and most enjoyable memories. A team’s offensive line comes in a group of five. While a player may at times be recognized for his achievement or failure, the success of the line depends on all five players, working together. A team also has a starting lineup, and a scout team. Each week the scout team must not only run the plays of the upcoming opponent, but also learn to play like them in order to give the starters a taste of what to expect. As various coaches would mention every year, “the starters are only as good as the players they practice against.” I absolutely delight in sacrificing myself so that others will succeed and football provided the perfect outlet. While I believe my desire to help others is a gift from God, I cannot ignore I have at times felt uneasy and wanting of more glory for myself.
The opportunity for my absolute awesomeness finally came my senior year. After not starting for anything since 8th grade, the door appeared to finally be opening. Now, I had worked hard to get to this point. I had stuck with football when many of my teammates quit. I put in time in the gym and time on the practice field and I was bigger, stronger, faster, more motivated, and had more knowledge of the game than even before. I was at the pinnacle of my high school career and I was ready to embrace the reward I had worked so hard for. But God had other plans and had finally decided to humble me. To be continued... (hopefully soon)