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War of a different kind
One filled not with the agony of death
Or the chattering of gunfire
One of a different kind
Defined by 11 brave soldiers
Fighting for a common goal
Blood and sweat
Mingling with the palpable sense of determination
Every warrior sacrificing his body
Relishing pain
Leaving everything behind
Everything on that battlefield
A battlefield marked not by the parameters of barbed wire
Or craters or trenches
But a battlefield marked with lines
White lines painted onto a green backdrop
Thousands of spectators screaming
Yelling
Supporting their troops
Troops willing their bodies
Willing their bodies to push the boundary
Willing their bodies to achieve greatness
Trepidation –the fear– the anticipation
Melts away
Disappears in the Friday night sky
Underneath the lights
Nothing else matters
Nobody else matters
Other than the people fighting with you
Your friends
Your brothers
Horns and drums
Signifying the onset of battle
Are replaced by a different battle cry
Click Clack
Click Clack
Instead of formations
A circle
One general in the middle
Demanding 48 minutes of perfect execution
One battle makes the different
One battle defines the war
One battle –win or lose– determines whether you keep fighting
Or whether you go home
Defeated, devastated
Reeling from the loss
Replaying over and over
The individual fights, the plays
That led to the loss
And after
Sitting not on a field, but in a locker room
You stand crying by your brothers
Brothers for whom you would die for
Who you have bled for
And the general, the coach
Says the final words
And like that
Your war is done
But losing this battle doesn’t kill
It’s a pain of a different kind
No body bags
No bullet holes
Only the regrets
The stories
The memories of great plays
And heart wrenching losses
And when it’s over
When it’s done
Successful or not
You look back on a season filled with battles
Thankful to have fought this fight





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