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Football: The War is Far From Over

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The world freezes. Life comes to a halt as the soldiers make their first movements into their assigned positions. Their eyes close, and in their minds’ eye they think of what must be accomplished to win this battle. At this time, movement on either side of the line comes to a sudden stop. The general of the offensive army calls to his warriors:” Hut one, hut two.” The ball moves, and the onslaught begins.















One second into the play. The ball is shot towards the generals outstretched hands eager for the touch of the leather that gives him permission to run to safety behind his defenders. On the defensive side of the ball, a soldier moves forward. The passion of the game has created a heat that does not seem possible for bodies moving less than a full second. Pushing and pulling, the air is crackling with the intensity of all the reactions happening. As the ball makes contact with the general’s hands, the foot soldiers move forward with surprising agility for such a large mass of muscle and bones. Each second is millennia, giving you a thousand decisions of what to do, where to go, what angle to move toward that will give you the greatest advantage against your opponent, and who to hit when having the knowledge that impact is imminent. Bodies spring across the line lunging for each other. Collisions head on head, wondering who will win in this battle of wits and muscles.
Two seconds into the play. You push at the soldiers with the effort of a lioness lunging for the kill. The first impact of the front line always determines the winner. For this special victory it is necessary for you to be lower than your opponent and keep moving continuously toward your goal (the quarterback). When the victory is reached and you know you have won you must know what will happen next. Must interpret the enemy’s movements, knowing what they suggest and what their next will be. Must be able to read the enemy like a book the first moment that you lay eyes on them. Knowing what will happen next may be one of the most crucial items of intelligence that is needed in order to be a part of the army. Searching for the ball my head is ‘on a swivel’. The coaches, fans, and teammates are yelling from the sidelines. Gibberish is all that can be discerned. You see the quarterback move back with the ball in his right hand representing a pass. The bull rush is on sending the offensive linemen reeling in a backwards run. Falling off balance, the linemen falls flat on his back. I look down with a grin and step over the defeated enemy as I run for his leader.

Two and a half seconds into the play. The quarterback acknowledges the fact that you have broken through his first line of defense. He starts to scramble in order to get away in time to throw the ball to the open arms of the receivers. Looking at the quarterback you realize you must run faster if you desire to be able to catch up to the leader of the opposing army. Your body accommodates for my need for speed and you are thrown from the very hand of god in an effort to make this particular quarterback wish that he had never been born. Make him wish that all his life he had pursued the easier task in life of not being a part of his army. He sees the look in your eyes and you watch him as a look of terror comes over him. He knows that if he does not do something quickly you will be upon him and he will regret this moment for the rest of his miserable life.

Third and fourth second of the play. The quarterback is reeling backwards, ducking and dodging in his ruthless effort to run for his pitiful life. He continually scrambles backwards in an effort to get away from this bear form of a defensive lineman. The look in the quarterback’s eyes shows fear which sends the soldiers hunger for this tackle growing again to a higher state then has ever before been comprehended. The lineman reaches out with arms the same length of an octopus and there is no escaping his grasp. His lungs are being crushed as he is lifted into the air and then driven again into the turf on top of the hard earth. He is beaten and he knows it. But before he is lucky enough to receive the brief respite of laying on the ground the ball is loosened from his grasp and is sent flailing through the air and onto the ground. The defensive lineman looks at the ball and back at the refs. The whistle is not blown so the ball is live. A look of greed comes into the lineman’s eyes. The excited soldiers feet start moving before he lifts himself off of the earth and as his cleats receive some grip on the unrelenting earth his body is propelled forward. As he is moving forward, he scoops up the ball with the delicacy as if it were a new born infant. You look behind your back and notices the pursuers are coming at him with the full force of the small army that the enemy possesses. Adrenalin starts to run through his body. Time slows down and each step feels like it takes days. You are moving through gel as you run forward. There is one problem though. The defender of the quarterback is ahead of me, the one soldier that has the opportunity to stop me from running across the open plain to the goal.

Fifth and last second of the play. Anger sparks in both pairs of eyes as they realize that the battle is nowhere near over. They begin to move toward each other, two hunters with the same goal. Take down the prey. The impact rocks the stadium, the fullback is sent into the air by the strength of the hit that was forced upon him. The lineman continues on his pathway unable to be breached. The enemy realizes that their opponent is indestructible and impossible to stop. He watches as they give up as he runs into their goal you watch the fans erupt into a frenzy of noise. The battle is won but the war is far from over.





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