I Believe in Football
I believe that football has the muscle to bring all different types of individualities together to share a common passion together.
I believe that football was the bridging gap between enjoying a friendly game with the other neighborhood kids on the street and being stuck in the backyard by myself playing shoot around on the basketball court. It was a way for me to make new friends, hang out with the ones that I already had, and participate in a sport that I loved so much.
I believe football was my third life back in the day, although, it had its consequences. Playing touch or tackle football in the street made its marks when the game was done, but I placed the belief under the impression that football is a contact sport…”it comes with the territory, I might as well go ahead on with it and get used to the pain” as I would think on a regular basis….a small price to pay for potential future stardom.
I believe as I look back, the question of what changed comes to mind. A change in the neighborhood environment brought new comings, all not good comings, but new comings. Kids that were considered legends of street football were going with their families and moving away (I was the first to relocate), police patrolling in their squad cars was kind of unpleasant for myself, mainly due to the fact that I rarely saw the police come through the neighborhood. It looked like the old neighborhood was going to take a turn for the worse. After a while, the pain could have been a little too much for some (back then, the street was like a neutral barrier, but who really cared, if the ball was in your possession, then you was going to get hit).
I believe moving to a new neighborhood did not help, as I was the only male teenager in the neighborhood and all the kids from the old neighborhood, male and female, had moved to another area out of reach. I wish sometimes I could go back to the old days and play football in the streets with the old timers one more time.
I believe that sanctioned football was a relief for me, but it was not the same. Yeah, playing for the school gave other students and the opposing team the opportunity to see my talent and make friends at a level that I have not done before, but I had one little issue—I was the underground type. I did not talk as for I did not want people to know much about myself, I felt like it was not any of their concern. So, this was a new challenge that I would have to accept. I did not as a kid pay much attention to the communication part of the game; I wish I did, it was difficult for me to adapt.
I still believe in that vision that I have of playing football again, and with improved communication skills (I still do not talk as much, but I talk more now than when I was a kid), I can make that vision of mine become reality.
I believe that football still has that swagger to bring all types of people to share a common passion.
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