Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Boys of Fall

Last weekend was the kickoff of the 2010 – 11 NCAA football season, today is the opening of the NFL season. Kenny Chesney’s song, The Boys of Fall, sets the scene for both. When my brother first tipped me off to the song I thought it was going to be somewhat lame or a fall version of Boys of Summer. But after hearing the song I was reminded of all the good times I had on the many football fields I played on.

Memories I’ll have forever. I made a lot of friends, we laughed and some even cried but we all learned something from our experiences. It’s been far too many years since I last played football and I miss it more and more as new fall seasons approach. Something about the aroma of fresh cut fields and cool autumn breezes bring back so many memories, some happy some sad.

When I was young, its not that I thought I was invincible or anything, I just never thought about a day that didn’t involve me playing football. Its one thing to end a “career” expectedly (Graduation, Retirement) but when and injury or health concern knocks you out of a game it’s a whole other thing. And that’s just what happened to me when I was 16… Long story short, I had to have a surgery and prior to the surgery my doctor said I’d be able to take the field again… After the surgery however, he said I’d never be able to play contact sports again. I was crushed, football was the only thing I really enjoyed and I was pretty damn good at it. Against doctors orders I came back to the game but that year of inactivity killed me and I wasn’t the same when stepped back on the field. My confidence in my abilities faded and soon my PT (playing time) was cut in half, for the first time ever I wasn’t a starter. But I was still part of the team.

I miss the days of waking up early, dragging my brother outside, getting our squad together and playing until the street lights came on. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to but every now and then I still dream of playing football. When I was a kid playing Pop Warner I dreamt of playing ball at the next level (Middle school, H.S, College, etc) or being as great as Troy Aikman or Deion Sanders but now-a-days my dreams are more nostalgic.

Here’s to the kids and men playing football all across the country, play every down like it’s your last, dream, and win or lose – enjoy yourself. Coach Bill Parcells said it best when he said [paraphrasing] it’s like a train, at some point we’re all going to have to get off, players, coaches, owners, all of us.

Kenny Chesney - The Boys of Fall


Stephanie said...

I remember your playing days.....Good Times!!! I talk about those with James.

DY said...

That's very cool, I'm glad those memories are good for you too. :) It was a lot of fun.