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EXTOLLING THE VIRTUES OF MY FAVORITE SPECTATOR SPORT Football Is a Thing of Beauty
T he summer heat is finally lifting, the kids are heading back to school, and — praise the Lord! — it’s college football season once again. And with six of 14 SEC teams helmed by new head coaches, it’s sure to be even more interesting and exciting than it has been in years.
best teams will run it for hours until they
to learn and love about the way these organizations operate and cooperate. It’s easy to look at the coach or quarterback and pin all the success of the team on them, and of course, a star player or a leader with a keen talent for guiding his team to victory certainly has a lot of influence on results. But whether you’re the New England Patriots or
automatically travel that 9 yards precisely without a single thought — not 9.5, not 8.5, but 9. By the time they’re through, the quarterback is throwing the ball before the receiver is out of his cut, exactly to his left shoulder, an accomplishment of teamwork the fan only sees for about five seconds. The best may make it look easy, but I think we all know it’s not easy at all. And that’s just one play out of dozens and dozens during a game that need to be executed with the same precision in order to be successful. One of Bill Belichick’s big maxims is “Do your job.” If every member of the Patriots does exactly what they’re supposed to, then he’s confident they’ll win every time. The system breaks down when even one guy fails to do his job, which is why I think it’s the ultimate team game. To me, football is a beautiful thing, combining everything I appreciate about leadership, teamwork, and pure competition into an amazing, fast-paced whole. Fall just wouldn’t be the same without it. Oh, and go Razorbacks!
the Arkansas Razorbacks, it takes many, many people to sustain success. With individual trainers, coaches for every position, donors, organizers, equipment managers, between 60 and 85 players, and of course, the undying support of rabid
Every single motion players make on the field is the product of insane dedication and work ethic, likely from dozens of people at once.”
For pretty much as long as I can remember, I’ve been a passionate football fan. I spend nearly every Saturday throughout the fall catching as many college football games as possible. To me and many others, college football feels less like a corporate enterprise and more like an honest competition than the NFL. It’s the ultimate team game, with dozens of individuals and moving parts all coming together to pull off some really incredible tactical and physical feats. It’s filled with dramatic finishes, underdog upsets, and inspiring stories of sheer human effort and determination. As I’ve found from reading books about legends like Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, there’s so much
fans, the best football teams come together to create a large community with one common goal: winning! Every single motion players make on the field is the product of insane dedication and work ethic, likely from dozens of people at once. I’d bet that, in the days leading up a big game, coaches often pull a 100-hour workweek, leaving as little to chance as humanly possible. The players, meanwhile, are running drills for hours and days, turning complex processes into instant responses. As Bill Walsh has discussed, if the play calls for a receiver to run 9 yards out, the
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