I am the most competitive person in the world. I will compete in just about any mental or physical activity, but I think the most challenging all around activity is football.
Football is a very time-consuming game. In the summer teams practice up to eight hours a day, and during the school year they practice till dark. Triple session practices in the blazing summer heat challenges even the best of athletes, and it constantly questions your motivation. Cold November winds are also a test of dedication to the sport and the team.
Every year around this time I ask myself the same question: Why am I putting myself through the mental, physical, and emotional pain of football? I think after ten hard and grueling seasons, I've finally found the answer. I am addicted to the "thrill of victory." I also play baseball and basketball, and I do love both of those sports, but nothing is more satisfying than working together as a team and winning a football game. In the course of a season you have about 120 practices, and only 11 games. Each game is special, and I cherish every chance to play the game I love, because you never know when it will be your last.
Football is a sport that separates the men from the boys. It takes a special person to play this extremely violent sport. You need discipline and dedication to be successful, but the most important qaulity is heart. Having a little heart goes a long way. You don't have to be a great athlete; you just have to want it more than the guy opposite you. There is a certain bond between football players that you just don't see in other sports. I take each game personally, and I know each player is only as good as their team. Football is more than just a game to me; it's part of my life, and that's what the "Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat" means to me. l
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.