As the days begin to shorten I find myself becoming nostalgic. The smell of fresh cut grass on a football field, dry wheat being harvested and the wet dew in the early mornings. This is no doubt Football Season.
I grew up in a small community where football and farming were king. The smells of fresh-cut football fields went hand-in-hand with fresh-cut wheat fields. As the Fall moved forward, corn harvest was associated with cold, crisp evening games when the lights were on at kick-off. Football season is such a uniquely vivid time in an athletes life because of the associations made. When the season starts in Minnesota and Wisconsin, it’s 90 degrees, humid and there isn’t school. When the season ends, it can be snowing and 35 degrees. The change from Summer to Fall provides so much in terms of colors and temperatures. Football follows the same path.
Basketball by my own admission is my favorite sport. But there is just something about the gridiron game. I don’t know why I find more joy in the smells of barbecue at a pre-game tailgate versus fresh popcorn in a January gymnasium. Oh wait, yes I do. Beef and pork off the grill are so much better!
Football also bring players together unlike any other sport. There is a unique bond among players when it takes 11 on each side of the ball to commit to something and trust each other. In basketball, one player has a bigger impact on the game than one in football. The quarterback gets a lot of glory, but without linemen he wouldn’t survive. A good running back needs holes to run through. A receiver needs someone to get them the ball. As a QB, I will never forget my center. I spent a lot of time with this interesting guy over the course of 2 seasons. We aren’t close anymore, but there’s a bond between us that I’ll never forget.
Alright, enough of my look back at my more fit, more athletic glory days. I wish all Fall athletes, not just football players, a great season. Stay healthy and enjoy the ride!