The end of summer signals many new beginnings, and one of the more anticipated: kickoff. There is much ceremony in the first pitch of Opening Day, but it’s all pomp: the pitch is over in a flash. Not so for a kickoff. Nothing quite matches the drama. There are enormous stadiums filled with color, the thunderous sound of tens of thousands of fans, and the sound of cleat meeting ball, sending it hanging high into the fall sky.
For all of its brute physicality, no other sport combines grace, psychology, technique, and strategy like football. Most other sports use a sphere – an actual “ball” – but football, ever the exception, opts for a shape that is just recognized as a “football” (it’s actually called a prolate spheroid). It is a game filled with contradictions: it manages to be both brash but ever-respectful towards its traditions. A player can literally run over an opponent on one play, then nimbly spin to avoid contact on the next. Football celebrates individual excellence, but only as part of a team. Fans wear a team jersey, but with the name and number of their favorite player.
Football shuts down towns on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and tailgating is a celebration of team and community that doesn’t happen for any other sport. Baseball is known for “October,” when championships are played. Football is known for “August,” when championships are won.
Fall is here, and it’s time to go out once more toss the prolate spheroid, and pretend to be like the greats we remember here. We celebrate the lives of the men who play the game we love, men who were not only athletes, but also leaders, teammates, fathers, and husbands who found purpose in the grass of the gridiron.
From one football fan to another (Geaux LSU Tigers!), we bring you 5 condolence messages about football.
1. Uncle Ed,you took me to my first professional football game. It was a cold day on those benches in old Foxboro Stadium. The Pats beat the Bills 3-0. And you always wondered how I could still be a Giants fan….You made me a lamp that I still have after Agway upset Ramada Inn in the MAYAA peewee championship game…and it never burned our house down. But most of all you are the big brother to my Mother, the most wonderful woman in the world. She loves you and always looked up to you. We will miss you dearly. [Published in Rutland Herald]
2. My fondest memory of Rob is on the football fields back in the 90s and early 2000s when he coached for the South Columbus Raiders. He was a Raider; we were Red Devils. We’d briefly laugh nd talk on the field about who was going to win. We ended it with blood is thicker that Gator Aid. I wish my cousin a peaceful journey. [Published in Columbus Ledger-Enquirer]
3. I always remembered Charlie when we played football together for the Elk Grove Herd. He put 100% into everything he did and no opposing football player in his right mind would ever take on Charlie! I can see he put that same drive, spirit, and just plain joy as he showed on the football field into becoming a world class husband, father, grand and great grandfather. [Published in Idaho Statesman]
4. The memories that i have of Mr. Porter is sitting in the stands at the SGS footballs while i was a cheerleading cheering with us. He would yell to our boys “CRUSH EM ST GEORGE CRUSH EM!” He will always hold a special place in my heart and i know while up in heaven he will still be cheering for every single sports player and be at every game. [Published in Erie Times News]
5. I played ball against Terry and Steve. We later became teammates at Starmount. Terry was always a gentleman on the field and off the field. He always gave his best even in practice under the hot August sun. Terry had an infectious smile and a quick wit that always lightened the moment. I remember his sweat-soaked face spouting one-liners of encouragement to everyone in the huddle. Everyone will miss Terry’s engaging comportment at the homecoming football games when fond memories were exchanged between true friends. [Published in Winston-Salem Journal]
Legacy.com reviews one million condolence messages each month. Each week, we highlight 5 condolences with a common theme.