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   Sun Devils:
Why Play Football
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Why Play Football? The final practice of the football spring training had ended. The players had all gone home and as the coach was locking up the equipment room his thoughts were of joining the rest of the coaches at the local watering hole. He laughed to himself as he remembered that the coaches referred to this Coaches meeting as Choir practice. A boy of 16 was skateboarding passed the coach. He stopped and asked, “Are you the football coach?” The Coach answered, “That is affirmative.” The boy looked somewhat perplexed so the coach reiterated, “That means yes, and I am one of the football team’s coaches.” The boy stuck out his hand and said, “My name is Tommy?” As he was shaking Tommy’s hand the Coach said, “Hi Tommy, my name is Coach Moon, I am glad to meet you.” Tommy then stated that he had just moved into the area and he would be attending the school next year as a Grade 11 student. As he listened to Tommy, the Coach gathered up his whistle and clip-board and said, “Well Tommy this is a very good school and I think that you will like going to school here- do you play football?” “No, “Tommy said, “I have never played football.” Coach Moon said, “Well when school starts – why don’t you come and see me and you can play football.” Tommy looked at the Coach Moon and said, “Thank-you, but could you please tell me, why should I play football?” Sensing that an explanation may take a while Coach Moon sat down on a bench and Tommy sat on his skateboard in front of Coach Moon. Coach Moon, stated, “Tommy, there are many reasons to play football.” “Football at South Delta Secondary School has a growing tradition. This year, with all the new grade 11 students like you, tradition and pride for South Delta Football will kick in, that's just the way it is. The players are proud of their football team, their school, and their heritage. The players share a deep pride in themselves and each other; they know what it takes to win.” “Now Tommy,” Coach Moon continued, “Tradition in many ways is a burden. To have a tradition means that you can't lose your cool; that you always have to show class, even when you are not quite up to it; that you have to do some things that you don't want to do and some you even think you can't do, simply because tradition demands it of you, but tradition is the thing that will sustain you. Tradition is that which allows you to prevail in ways that you could not otherwise. Tommy, our football team lives for its tradition.” Tommy looked somewhat confused so Coach Moon continued, “Tommy, when you play football for South Delta, when you put on your jersey, you're not just playing for yourself or your teammates. You're playing for everybody who wore that uniform before you and for everybody who'll wear it after you. That's tradition. You won't really appreciate this until after you're out of school, but it's true.” Coach Moon then added, “Here’s another example, at the University of Notre Dame players go from their changing room down a stairway to a tunnel that empties unto the football field. As they travel down the stairway there is a metal sign that says “Play like a Champion today” as each player files pass the sign they slap or high five the sign. Tommy, can you imagine the noise that is made as 60 football players hit their “Fighting Irish” sign? The NFL Oakland Raiders have a similar sign but it says “Commitment to Excellence”. The South Delta Sun Devils follow this tradition. We have a SD, similar to the SD on our helmets stuck to the brick wall beside the door as the players leave the changing room they slap, high five, or just touch their SD insignia. Players new to the team learn to follow this tradition by watching the veteran players as they slap the SD and so the tradition continues.” Tommy then asked “So tradition is a very important reason to play football”. Coach agreed, “Yes Tommy tradition is a very important part of football but it’s not the only reason to play football.” Coach Moon looked at Tommy as he said, “Tommy, football at South Delta is a commitment. Football is comprised of three seasons; football season, weight-training season and spring practice. Every Monday through Thursday after school, players must attend practice and Friday or Saturday is Game Day and Tommy on Game Day you play until the whistle blows. At other times and evenings the football players must be committed to assisting in team fund raising. Football is an expensive sport but each player is provided with a uniform that costs $300.00 and there are additional costs for travel and meals.” Tommy’s eyes widened as he asked, “Where does the football team travel to.” Coach Moon told Tommy that at times the football team travels to Vancouver Island and this may involve staying overnight. Coach Moon said, “Tommy football teaches responsibility, which simply means having the ability to respond to whatever the situation calls for. There is only so much time in which to run a football practice and there are a lot of things to be accomplished. Therefore each player has to be responsible to study his play book to be prepared for his next practice. Each player also has the responsibility to complete his homework on time and to the best of his ability.” “Remember Tommy, you not attending South Delta Secondary School just to play football; you are attending South Delta Secondary School to get an education.” “Tommy,” Coach Moon continued, “a football player is a self-confident individual willing to put himself forward as an example for other students, he is dedicated to his team and his school and he takes pride in everything he does both on and off the field. Football teaches a player to be prompt and at tentative. At the conclusion of each play the eleven players whether offense or defensive must congregate in a circle on the playing field. This Huddle formation is a meeting in which ten of the players in the huddle have taken a vow of Silence. Only one individual, elected by the team, as their Captain, will receive coded directions from a coach on the sidelines. These directions will then be relayed to the huddled mass. Once these instructions have been received, the carrying out of each individual duty is paramount to the success of the play being run. If any of the eleven individuals fails in his duty the result could be disastrous.” Tommy shrugged his shoulders as he acknowledged, “there are a lot of good reasons to play football, and it seems to be a lot of fun.” Coach Moon, cautioned Tommy, “Some people think of Football as a contact sport, however football is not a contact sport, football is a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport. Football is a rough game, you are going to get tackled, blocked, beaten, smashed, pounded, poked, pounced on, clobbered, clouted, jabbed, smacked, swatted, slugged, whooped, whacked, punched, hammered, creamed, slammed, battered, bruised, cut, scrapped, scratched, and wounded, and then when the play ends you must attend a committee meeting and discuss the next play.” Coach Moon then said “Tommy, football may provide you with the opportunity to obtain a football scholarship to continue your post-secondary education. Post secondary education usually takes four years for a student to complete. Over a four year period your education will be very costly. Athletic scholarships for football players, or other sports, help to relieve some of the costs for you and your parents.” "Tommy, you can learn a lot on the football field that isn't taught in the home, the church, or the classroom.


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(2/12/2012) Why Play Football
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