Friday, December 11, 2009

Forever Blue

Tonight the Northside Eagles of Warner Robins, Georgia play in the state championship for the fourth time in 5 years. It doesn't seem that long ago that I put on the pads for that team and suited up for the greatest sport on earth. Actually it's been a while and it is disgusting how old I feel when I put things in perspective.

Not only am I old enough to have a child on that field but I am old enough too have one in college. When my father was my age, I was in my 4th year of college. My oldest child is 14 and my youngest 2 with my middle child 10.  I still have a way to go raising my family but everything is happening too fast. My kids are growing up too fast. Yet, the past doesn't seem that far away.

I can still smell the fresh mowed grass on the practice field at Northside. I can feel the burn of the sweltering heat and humidity that would make me stagger like a drunk when it got near unbearable. I can remember the stench in the varsity dressing room where sweaty pads and equipment hung, I remember when the first cool weather of fall was welcomed on the field as it rejuvenated an otherwise tired and drained bunch of young men. I remember feeling like superman on a Friday night, tearing through a defensive line to clear the way for yardage to be made. I remember the animal rage that built up inside and how great it felt to unleash it upon the opponent. I remember the drums of the band roaring like thunder in cadence. Very rarely did we taste defeat and when we did it was as bitter as anything I've ever swallowed. I remember gathering on cold Saturday mornings after the game to stretch out soreness we had from the night before and evaluate any injuries sustained during the game. Those memories will always seem like just yesterday. God bless the young men who suit up tonight to rage war for the top prize. For those of you that will play in your last game, may this always seem like just yesterday for you as well,  for the grass on the practice field always smells fresh cut.

Go Big Blue!

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