We are around three weeks and two preseason games into training camp, and Groundhog Day is in full effect. I’m not certain what exact day it is without checking my phone, or a calender. Either way, I know football has been practiced, watched and scrutinized by fans, coaches, and the media repeatedly. You have all seen the ’53-man Roster’ predictions. Those things change every second it seems like, and personally, I don’t take a look at ’em. Either way, let me give an update on the hap’s in Oxnard.
A little over a week ago we got the opportunity to take in an extremely special event, the Hall of Fame game. To be honest, having to participate in the extra preseason game was a bit frustrating at first glance. The additional exhibition match has both positives and negatives to it. The obvious downside is the fact that you are at added risk of injury, but conversely, you have the opportunity to thrive against another opponent for another game. Also, you have the chance to put good things on tape. (For those who are wondering, good tape is similar to having pristine credit and assets when hoping to purchase a house.)
Now back to the Hall. When the inductees speak about Canton truly being ‘football heaven’, it is the best adjective to describe the edifice. The place that oozes with football history and brings back memories that you used to emulate in your backyard with friends or family. One wing is completely dedicated to the history of the game dating back to its beginning. The Hall does a wonderful job of showing the advances that the game has made in everything from player safety i.e. shoulder pads, helmets, etc., as well as the technology that has helped make the game as grandiose as it is today. There are record setting footballs, jerseys, and uniforms. You name it, its there.
The room that houses the Hall of Fame busts gives off the similar aura as the National Archives does in D.C. You know deep down to your bone marrow that you are about to view something so special that it gives you chills. That one room contains all of the names that you looked up to, your father looked up to, and your grandfather looked up to. Legendary coaches, players, and even announcers are on display for you to ogle at. If you get the chance to make it to Canton, Ohio, you NEED to spend a couple of hours inside the Hall. Prepare to be engulfed in football. I dare you not to smile like a kid on Christmas. The Hall of Fame game was spectacular. From the 2013 class being present, and the atmosphere equals and ambiance that is unmatched in any other preseason game. It is a great way to being the NFL season.
Occasionally, you are asked to make the quick turn around during the NFL season and leading into our second game, the rooks got their first taste of it. Off to Oakland we go. The Black Hole. The experience being in that stadium was truly special. I had seen the detailed costumes many times on television, but hadn’t seen it live and in color. It may sound odd, but I couldn’t do anything but smile while being cussed out by a Raider fan draped in a gorilla costume and a spiked motorcycle helmet.
In closing, camp has been going pretty well, personally. The challenge is finding a way, bot physically and mentally, to be your best day in and day out. Every player on every team is sore, battered, and bruised so that’s definitely not an excuse. Its a part of the job description, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Until next time, folks…