Why I Play Football
I had just run one thousand yards. The numbers had been whizzing through my head as I sprinted back and forth across the field. I had run one thousand yards. I pondered this as slammed into a boy, no, a man over twice my size and felt a sharp pain in my right leg that signifies cramping and that awful tiredness that comes right before you throw up. I figured I could hold it in until I saw another boy how had just run the same distance as me bend over and vomit into his chinstrap. Then it was off to the bushes. While I sat there and examined my partially digested lunch, the boy next to me turned and asked, “I hate football, why do we have to do this crap?” In between people slamming into my stomach and paying attention to a coach as he taught me a couple of naughty words while chewing me out for not running in the proper direction, I thought of a way to answer that boy.
The truth is, I like hard work. The sweat, the pain, and the attempts at destroying me emotionally that seem to be as big a part of football as the touchdown don’t seem to hurt me that badly. Even after those thousand yards, those cramps in my leg, and that coach in my face, I was still in a pretty good mood. As I came to this realization, I smiled for a couple of seconds before a lineman who was receiving Division One football recruitment letters as a junior slammed me into the ground. I got up, and the cramp in my leg was gone. Pushed on by this almost miracle, I lined up for the next play with a fire in my eyes. In fact, I did so well that I beat my blocker just in time to be run over by another football player who could squat 450 pounds. Undaunted, I struggled mightily against the best offensive line in the state until the head coach blew the whistle for us to take a break. The effects of a long day at practice were finally starting to wear off, and practice wasn’t even over yet. All my hard work, all my sacrifice, would just be looked upon tomorrow as another day at practice. A couple of the bigger goofballs on the team would probably come up with some way of imitating all the players who threw up and make everybody laugh. Others would show off the bruises blazoned across their arms and legs, a symbol of the punishment they had received on the field. Some people say football players are stupid for going out and wrecking their bodies every day. I think it’s the difficulty of the sport that makes us come back.
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