The last month has been different to say the least. How is that you might say? Well, I'm glad that you asked. As Oscar Wilde said "With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone". While I agree that some become wiser with age and some do not, I would add a corollary that with age comes aches and pain. For that I am sure.
A while back (early summer), my right knee started to hurt. I tried to ignore the pain until about mid-September when at times, I could barely walk. I was essentially bedridden for about three weeks waiting to see a specialist.
While laid up, my mind was free to wander and ruminate about all sorts of things. Of course I thought a lot about what I had seen through the lens as well as what I had seen and heard inside and outside the lines. One reoccurring theme was high school football.
One thing that I observed was the LARGE number of kids that were fully dressed and stood, minute by minute, game after game, season by season on the sideline. Many that would not get any playing time at all - most at best, a few minutes. The more I thought about this the more confused and "upset" I became about the state of high school football. To be on a football time takes a LOT of time and commitment - I know because I played a year when I was in high school. Soooo why do these kids go through all that is required to put on a uniform with apparently a very little chance of playing? Is it their love for the game or has a carrot been held out that maybe they'll get in? Just curious.
One major thing that has changed since I played is that a majority (yes majority) of players that actually play during a game play on both offense and defense (and some even on special teams). This is strange to me - are these kids that GOOD and the kids on the sidelines that BAD that the team doesn't have a chance of winning unless the good are kept on the field and the bad are kept off the field? Is it the Lombardi creed that "winning is everything?" Just curious.
Well, the scoreboard and seasonal records suggest that this strategy just doesn't work. Teams have gone years with only a single win. Teams are losing by double, triple their scores. Maybe in part, the players that play both ways for almost the entire game are tired or beaten-down by much larger opponents. Like I said, being laid up my mind wandered and started to ask why about a host of things.
Speaking of much larger opponents: a local team this year is small. Not small in numbers but many of the players are not very large in height or bulk. During most games it's like a scene from the story of David and Goliath. But in general, where these young men lacked height or bulk, they made up for it with heart and determination. They had "high hopes."
Until next time, be safe, be good and don't let your mind stay idle - imagine, ponder, and question .