by Mario "Game" Granata
If you have read many of the posts here at Hashtag Sports, you will see statistical analysis, projections, and other comments about the game of football, and there is a reason for that: Football is America’s Game. Now, many of the readers might have a different opinion about which sport is their favorite, but to me, football highlights the highs and lows that one would encounter in life, but where did this love start?
Well, like most people who develop a love for a certain sport, it starts with family. My older brother was a football player, and I looked up to him, and wanted to emulate everything that he did. He was a two way player in high school and college, so when I started playing, I would copy what he did. Playing quarterback and linebacker like him, I could immediately see the difference of offense and defense.
On offense, you are playing a chess match with the defense, trying to attack weaknesses, using slight-of-hand at times, and being very smooth in everything that you do. On defense, your whole objective is to search and destroy everything that is on the offense. Even special teams play brings about a very interesting dynamic as 22 bodies become entangled trying to complete their intended objective.
Another interesting point of football is the internal battles that occur from play to play, series to series, quarter to quarter and so on. The perspective from an offensive lineman is completely different from that of a quarterback. But on any given play, you will have 11 individuals bonding together for a common goal, and whoever wins those internal battles will become victorious. There is no other sport like football that combines such an intricate set of parts that have to be working all the time.
From the minute I started playing football I was hooked, and when I started to play quarterback, looking at 10 other players who were looking at me to deliver the orders from the coach, was something that is truly amazing. There are ups and downs that will occur, but how you handle them is what is remembered most. The bond that you have with teammates lasts a lifetime, and even if you don’t talk to a former teammate for a while, you can meet up and start talking about the playing days, and flow right back into the same act.
Teamwork, getting back up when you have been knocked down, strategy, and communication are all imperative when trying to be a success at the game of football, which intertwines with the culture of America. We’ve been knocked down, but we get up. We have to work together to be successful. We have to have a plan, and have to be on the same page for that plan to work. This is the essence of football that no other sport can lay claim to.
I have very fond memories of my time on the field, but now that I am relegated to the sidelines or watching games on TV, I appreciate and value the time I spend on the field. I was able to play the game I love for 15 years, and all the blood, sweat and tears that I have had, from all the wins to the losses, I regret nothing that I have done both on and off the field.
Football creates a bond with the players and fans alike, and although baseball might be heralded as America’s Pastime, football remains America’s Game