The Last Fall

To+begin+the+football+game+against+Spring+Woods%2C+Mustang+Varsity+race+onto+the+field+in+unison.+

F. Packman

To begin the football game against Spring Woods, Mustang Varsity race onto the field in unison.

It’s said football is just a game. Football players across the country would disagree with that statement. Football is a way of life; a religion so to speak.

This sport consumes your whole life. Every second of your time is thinking of ways to get better, how to better your team, and spending your entire summer preparing for the season. After the season is over, off-season starts. This is where players prepare their bodies for the next summer. Which in return, prepares them for the upcoming season.

These young men aren’t just doing this for themselves, but for their team. People say a team is just a group of boys who play the same sport, but they are wrong. A team is a group of brothers that come together for a common purpose, to win games and make it to the State Championship.

These brothers have each other’s backs through thick and thin and encourage one another to succeed and to keep pushing; no matter how hard the drill or life gets. Football teaches accountability, responsibility, team work, determination, and teaches a positive attitude.

Teammates begin to feel love for every player like he was your actual family member. No matter how hard your coach can be on you, he begins resemble a fatherly figure. Once you’re older, you begin to understand why he pushed you so hard. It is not just for football, it is for life. To teach lessons that others simply cannot.

The love of the game builds with every game you play. Time flies by and before you know it, the season is already over. For seniors, their playing days are over before they cross the stage.

Many athletes have been playing together since pee wee. Once the senior season ends, you begin to think your life is over. You have no idea what to do with yourself since all of your time was devoted to this sport of battle. You are trapped in a dark abyss filled with memories replaying like a broken record in your mind.

When you daydream, you see yourself playing in your last game. When you fall asleep, you dream about your smiling brothers on the football field banging heads. Sometimes, you see the devastated broken hearts after the last game. Tears pouring like streams off of their faces and soaking the field while they’re laying on their stomachs.

You see all of your brothers hugging each other knowing it was the last time they will be on the field together as one. The fact that you will never gear up again kills you. You have to change your lifestyle. What kills you more is that most of your team will never gear up again and will go their separate ways. For many, football is all that they’re good at. Once the season ends, they are clueless of what to do.

The next week of school is hard. You cannot focus in class, you see your brothers in arms walking down the halls with their heads hanging like dead fish on hooks while listening to music through their earphones, and you don’t talk to anybody.

After a few weeks, you start to get back in the groove of things without football. Your mind still thinks about the sport, but you start to focus more on the rest of your life. Once you’re walking around with the same cocky football player walk, then you begin to go back into the dark abyss when the football banquet comes around.

The coaches give speeches to every varsity football player but longer and more special speeches to the seniors. Your coach goes on about how much of an impact you were to the team and your accomplishments. Once you get recognized, you focus everyone at the banquet out. You begin to reminisce while listening to every single word your coach says about you.

You begin to smile and feel like a superstar. Finally once your whole team has been recognized, the video begins to play. The highlights, key plays, but most importantly, the special moments your football  family had. That is what kills you inside. Your eyes begin to flow tears uncontrollably. The environment around the seniors is filled with depression but also happiness. You are glad you got to spend every moment with those guys. That is what counts.

You begin to realize that you can’t be sad that it’s over, but be glad that it happened.  For these are the glory days and they are the best days of your entire life.