Until about 10 years ago, I was a massive football fan. Football was something my friends and I revered growing up. As a student journalist for my school’s newspaper, I got to interview a few members of our city’s football team, and I was awestruck at how classy, accessible, and willing to talk to kids they were! I wasn’t too surprised to learn later that the team management and ownership required players to be part of the community, interact with fans, and set a good example for kids in the area.
Football acted as a link to home on my last military deployment. It was something that brought multiple units from various parts of the country together on a long stint away from home in a warzone. We would gather in a hangar and root for our teams. None of us considered football to be anything but an all-American, wholesome contest. Yeah, you had your Carruths and your Vicks, but they were, for the most part, disciplined.
Those were the days. (Now, get off my lawn!)