It was not a festive atmosphere, so as soon as I could get away from that oppression, I did. My student ticket went un-used. I never tailgated, never married nor ever dated, nor ever even hung out with any friends or acquaintances who were football fanatics. To this day, I steer clear of sports fanatics.
HOWEVER, now that I'm trying to develop a few piddlin' skills as a dog agility handler - like running for a minute without panting, executing front crosses without twisting an ankle, trying to commit handling moves to muscle memory, not lose my focus at every distraction, pick up my feet when I sprint, put a little speed on when I run, I've come to notice, to appreciate how the players can twist and turn and stay in an explosive game for 2 hours without collapsing, how they seem to know where the ball is and which direction to run in amidst the blur of human flesh, how they fling themselves through space with 100% resolve, arms and legs flailing, land with a horrific thud, and get right back up like an inflated punching doll. How 6 giants can pile on top of a 7th one, and he doesn't come out flat as a pancake with 12 broken bones.
How do they do that? It's begun to intrigue me. Besides innate talent, testosterone, macho, and team pride, it's clear to me now that there's a whole, whole, whole bunch of training going on, as in this video of the daily training schedule posted in the LSU Atheletic Department's website. Agility students will recognize the laddar. Yes, our novice dogs do laddar training for "rear leg awareness", but our handlers don't! We barely address the moves required of our "handling skills", certainly never by rote like football players do, much less "handler fitness". We don't even warm up before our runs.
It's inspires me to contemplate that football players can't play at all, much less win, without constant training. I have begun to marvel at their dedication. And then, there's the development of their mental game, learning to adjust instantaneously to constantly changing scenarios, rude jeers and taunting, without getting disoriented or shook up. I take heart that these skills can all be learned. It's marvelous, really.
|LSU intersepts Alabama's |
ball on the 1 yard line.
I've also come to realize that football fanatacism is a prevelant disease -- so I've more or less forgiven my Dad for his addiction. Why, Naylors Hardware practically threw me out last Saturday at 4 p.m. as I was choosing my lettuce plants. They were closing 2 hours early for the game.
Yes, I've come a long way. And that's another Upwards and Onward for me.