Sunday, March 28, 2010

9 years, 4 months, and 14 days

broken down that's 4,152 days. that's 99,648 hours. that's 5,978,880 minutes. that's 358,732,800 seconds. and that is how long it has been since i've put on the pads and played a real game of football. and i have felt every painful moment of it. but that unfortunately long streak has finally come to an end. it's a long story, full of many trials and tribulations. take a walk with me and i'll tell it to you. you might even learn a lesson or two about life along the way... but probably not. i do warn you that this is a long and boring story, all about football, so i apologize to all of amber's family and friends. you guys can skip this blog. :)
a long, long time ago, there once was a boy. he was a manly boy, wise beyond his years. i'm sure you've guessed it, but this boy was me. now i didn't grow up playing football. my earliest memories are of when i lived in maine, which isn't quite known for its football fever. that completely changed when i moved down to texas, where football often substitutes religion to the locals. i didn't initially fall madly in love with the game. i quit football in 7th grade, but decided to give it a try in 8th grade, where i quickly was put as the 9th string tight end. i believe i've always been a slightly above average athlete, but i had no idea what i was doing on the football field so i just looked silly. plus there were just so many other kids that i never even got the chance to practice. so i stood everyday for 2 hours in the scorching texas sun in my ill-fitting pads. didn't really help my growing love affair with the sport. so on to high school i went.texas high school football is serious stuff. it's not like in middle school where everyone played. so i, having been 9th string, believed my calling in life was elsewhere and left football and took up another equally respected sport - p.e. the years went by and slowly my understanding of the game began to grow, thanks in large part to monday night football, the occasional game in p.e., and 'john elway's football' for the super nintendo.
one day halfway through my junior year, after playing a game in my p.e. class, the p.e. coach called me over and asked why i wasn't playing for the high school team. i told him i didn't think i was that good, but he encouraged me to give it a try. i later told my church young men's leader, gene current, all about the story and he agreed with my coach completely. i shrugged it off and thought nothing more of it until the next day at school. midway through art class i got a note telling me to go see the head football coach. thinking i was in huge trouble, i slowly trudged my way over to the football offices, my mind racing as to what i might have done. i then had a seat before the head coach, a sort of local celebrity in my small town. he tells me he received a call from a mr. current saying that i would make a valuable addition to the team. as nervous as i was, there was no way i could say no, and the very next day, as scared as any human could be, there i was sitting in the football locker room. there is no way i should have been playing with my lack of experience and nerves, but by my first game, i was the starting receiver for a top level texas high school football team. crazy. just a few years earlier i was 9th string on my little middle school team. now i stood before 20,000 people, the announcer calling my name. funny how life goes sometimes.
now as much as i love football, there are things that will always come first - my faith, my family, my friends, and of course my wife, mrs. amber rose. so as high school ended, it wasn't on to play college ball like many of my teammates. it was off to new york city for two years to serve a mission for my church. i returned home, wiser and happier, having made one of the best decisions of my life. but the desire to play was still there, so even though i was horribly out of shape, i decided i would give it a try and attempt to play at the next level. so off to college i went.
i wasn't there long before the complexities of life blessed me with their presence. long story short (ha ha, right? this is anything but a short story) - my days of tackle football came to an end and my days of flag football began. this continued to an almost zealous degree when i moved to utah, where at one point i was playing in 4 different leagues at once. flag football has been it for the longest time now. then the internet bestowed a gift upon me.
i discovered through facebook that there was a full contact football league starting up, open to anyone who wanted to get a group of friends together. my interest peaked immediately. so i sent a few texts out to gauge the interest level of my football friends. i got a great response, but the recruiting process ended up being just one crazy experience. i count nearly 30 guys who had expressed some sort of interest at one point or another but later backed out on me. and then there was the problem of money because football pads and a helmet can be quite expensive. i was absolutely positive at more than one point that there was no way i'd get this team together. but thanks to the love and support of my beautiful bride amber, the excellent recruiting by friends, and the aid of spanish fork high who graciously is lending us all our equipment, the diamondback tackle football team was all set to play.
our first game was looming and my knees were knocking. to make matters worse, our qb and largest lineman were both missing the first game, leaving me to play quarterback behind a depleted offensive line. great. and to make matters even worse we were playing a semi-pro team our first game. i wasn't feeling so hot. the day finally came and of course i couldn't sleep that night. i was at the field a good two hours early to prepare myself. a mixture of nervousness and excitement made me want to puke. but as soon as the game started, all that went away, and it quickly became evident we would be just fine. we ended up being more than "just fine", winning 38 to 0. our defense absolutely dominated, allowing only one first down all game, sacking the qb a dozen or so times, and getting a safety. the only thing lacking was a passing game, but with me throwing, that was to be expected. near the end i did play my true position (wide receiver) for one play and caught a quick touchdown.
and since this has taken me so long to post, i might as well include this week's game as well. having scouted the other teams a little, we expected an easy victory this week, and our expectations were fulfilled. with the return of our real qb and biggest lineman, we sought to establish a passing game, and we most definitely did. i personally only caught one pass (a 50 yarder for a td), then pulled myself to let other guys get some lovin'. i got a little bit of glory on defense, intercepting two passes, returning one for a touchdown. we won our second game 46 to 0, again dominating on defense, allowing only one first down, and recording another safety. our defense is stout.
we are looking pretty good, but it only gets tougher from here on out. man, it feels so good to put pads on again. i have to express my eternal gratitude to my wife amber. thank you for letting your old and fat husband play again. and thank you for the awesome pictures. i love good pictures of me playing football. :)

1 comment:

  1. Scott, you really are a great writer. You made a boring post about football -hehe- entertaining to read. And Amber's pics are great too.