Things I’ve learned while working with the Utah State football team:
Being a student athlete (or having a schedule similar to one) is extremely time consuming and requires a great amount of discipline.
Police escorts are the fastest way to get around downtown Los Angeles. They also make you feel like a celebrity.
Most teams have a Chaplain that travels to every game.
Coaching is a labor of love.
There are a number of unseen people that make a college football team run smoothly. They call them support staff and they are almost as numerous as the players themselves.
Boosters and Alumni that travel to away games are not very nice people. (It’s a business trip for the players, and the boosters bring golf clubs that take up a lot of space….I have to continually tell myself that I’m “networking,” but I really just want to run their golf clubs over.)
On a more serious note:
Football is considered to be a very physical and violent game at times. In fact, one of the things that coaches look for when recruiting is a person’s propensity to be violent, because it is something that cannot be taught. That being said I have learned that, although these men that play football may be hardened and toughened individuals, they rely on not only physical strength, but a strength that comes from a higher power. It has been very cool to see these players and coaches acknowledge a higher power and seek, through prayer, the protection and power of a Heavenly Father. They may come from different religious backgrounds, and have different ways of praying, but without fail they bow their heads before a meal and pray for strength and nourishment. They pray before the game for protection and strength to perform well and to avoid injury. After the game they pray and give thanks for a hard fought battle, and whether they win or lose, they thank God for everything. It is not something that is seen often, and happens behind closed doors most of the time, but it’s comforting to know that even in the game of Football, God is present.