By MURPHY FAIR
As Tennessee's high school football guru, I am often contacted about the game and what it means to so many people. More often than you might think, the thoughts that come my way are not so much about the X's and O's of the game as they are the personal side of the sport.
Recently, an area assistant coach shared with me the following poem. Written by Amber Hudgens, a senior basketball and softball player at White County High School in Sparta, the following verses speak volumes about what football means to so many.
Although she's only a senior, Amber appears to be wise beyond her years. Thank you Amber for sharing the following words.
He is . . . The Football Player
He sits, waiting. Waiting to seize his moment. Seconds feel like hours. Why does time go by so slow? He feels his heart beat. Blood throbs through his veins. The anticipation is unbearable.
His stomach is in knots. His nerves are overwhelming. But yet, excitement surrounds him, his teammates, his coaches, and himself. Teeming with excitement. Eyes shimmering like crystal balls.
He starts his march, his brothers by his side. He hears the huge crowd roar. He sees the bright lights shining on the field. He feels the fresh cut grass beneath his cleats. He knows this is where he belongs.
Sweat drizzles off his face. His heart pounds out of his chest. This is his moment, his life his world. The ball is snapped and his life begins. He is . . . The Football Player.
Year after year, he plays every game, every snap, with all his heart. Hundreds of games he plays. But it has to end. He knows it is his last game, his last chance, his last moment.
He sits, waiting. Hours feel like seconds. Why does it go by so fast? He feels his heart beat. Blood throbs through his veins. The anticipation is unbearable.
He marches, one last time, his brothers by his side. His heart seems to stop. He hears nothing but sharp ringing. He sees the crowd stand to their feet. He steps on the field for the final game.
Sweat drizzles off his face. His heart pounds out of his chest. This is his moment, his life, his world. The ball is snapped and the game begins. He is . . . The Football Player.
He sits, waiting. Waiting for the coach's final speech. He feels a knot form in his throat. His eyes begin to haze. His head throbs while fighting the urge to cry. He gives in as tears stream down his face. Where has the time gone?
He sits, waiting. Waiting to watch the big game. He feels his heart beat. Blood throbs through his veins. The anticipation is unbearable.
He sits, waiting. Waiting to cheer on his son. Because he knows this is his moment, his life, his world. The ball is snapped and his life begins. He is forever . . . The Football Player.
It's been another great season. I hope to see you in Cookeville. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!
Murphy Fair has published Tennessee High School Football for 25 years.