“All I kept thinking about, over and over,
was ‘You can’t live forever; you can’t live forever.”——-Fitzgerald
No, you can’t live forever.
Neither can you go back.
Where professional football (or team sports) allows an athlete to play out the string of his talent. They allow them to go until they can’t run and react anymore…the college and prep games end abruptly. They end with talent and strength still in the joints, bones, and tendons.
They end when the mind is still strong enough to dream about future potential, and not be locked into reflecting about what once was.
The professional experience is like sitting down to dine at your favorite restaurant and gorging yourself until you can gorge no more.
The college/prep experience is like going to that same restaurant. You are dressed to the nines, famished, and then asked to leave after finishing the plate of appetizers.
It’s painful, it’s tragic, it becomes haunting. This is why sports for many of us is not about sweating and points and championships. It’s theater. It’s a great production that introduces you to great characters that you can’t help but root for. It gives you characters that you can’t help but root against.
Like any great play it subtly introduces back story for its most minor of characters and when they fall or fail, you feel the tug at your heart. You don’t want them to leave the stage, but they do.
Great dramas are also unpredictable, you have no idea how its going to turn out. You have a desired end set up in your mind, but it hardly ever plays that way.
I look at Mt. View and head coach Victory Ambruso and how they spent this whole season living on the edge. Fighting to get the school’s first playoff appearance in football since 1997.
Did I root for them more than others? No, but I wanted to see how the story continued because there was still strength and talent in their legs. They wanted to play, but the appetizer was finished and they’ve been asked to leave.
And for those that are asked to leave, many (the seniors) are never coming back. They will never put on helmet and pads again. It is over. Strength in their hands, strength in their legs, but ferocious fate requires that they move on to another table in life.
Who isn’t drawn to this kind of story? Who isn’t sucked in by its passion and short explosion to the heart and soul, followed by the inevitable calm of settling history.
This is why Shakespeare survives, the tragedy capital “T”
“…And the tangent dreams of buffalo long for the land and times that are so far gone.”
Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Joe on twitter @joet13b
Listen to “The Joe Show” every Wednesday (6:PM) at www.midvalleyradio.net