dedicated with love to the 2014 UMass Football team, the coaching staff, and most of all, to my husband, the team video director- I’ll always believe in all of you!
Believing in something is difficult. It requires risking your heart for an intangible, for something nobody can predict. It means setting yourself up for disappointment if the outcome is different than what you want, and you set yourself up for ridicule if you cling to your beliefs despite the illogic in doing so.
So why believe in something like football?
I believe because football isn’t just about points on a scoreboard or totals in the win/loss column. Quite frankly, if that’s all there was to football, nobody would ever play or coach because there’s just too much uncertainty involved. Anything can change the outcome of a game – from the weather to crowd noise, to injuries and player experience. Nothing is certain in football. So why believe?
I believe because football represents much more than a game. Football is about overcoming adversity, whether it’s in the form of an injury or a losing streak. Football is about working as a team toward a common goal, knowing that each player is only as good as his teammates. Football can teach us patience and perseverance and shows us the results of hard work and determination. In football it’s not always the strongest or fastest player or team that survives; it’s the one that is willing to work the hardest to succeed that ultimately thrives.
I believe because football is family. It’s hard to describe to someone who hasn’t lived the life, but nobody understands the passion, committment and sacrifice it takes to build a life in football the way others who are involved in the game do. Coaches and staffs and their families share that connection of sacrifice, late nights and missed family milestones, the time apart that comes with the passion for the game. The connection that grows from this shared experience creates bonds as strong as those forged by blood.
I belive because football is about heros, not the kind that we think of when we put our athletes on pedestals, but the quiet heros that you don’t always hear about. The athletes who take sick children under their wing for no other reason than to give them hope and something to live for. The athletes who battle through physical issues to play their favorite sport, and the athletes who come from nothing, intent on finding their path and a way to a better life through football. The athletes who push themselves in dozens of ways and struggle to make the scout team or practice squad solely for the joy of playing the game. These men are the true heros of football.
I believe because football is about tradition. Football brings players and fans together, regardless of our backgrounds, and erases (if only for a little while) the differences that divide us. When we take to the field as teammates or cheer for our team from the stands, we are a part of history. We are part of a story that is still being told on countless fields on countless weekends throughout America.