Coping When The End Is Near

The last time we were on the field all together (well – I say all together. I was standing accidentally in the player’s box surrounded by bleeding, muddy men and hadn’t meant to end up there, personally) one of our longest-standing players walked past me and laughed as he said,

“I am getting way, WAY too old for this!”

As the club’s media person it’s my responsibility to let everyone know what we’re up to, and actually we’ve been up to so much that I haven’t been able to tell everyone all about it. Sometimes I feel, therefore, that I haven’t had the season I wanted for the boys and perhaps I could have done more.

So that’s probably why I feel desperately sad that the season is almost over!

I’ve been living with an American Football ‘enthusiast’, sometime club president and current Spartan for three years, and I dread the end of the season for the misery it brings to him. Sunday becomes a bit of a drag, waiting for the meat to roast in the oven and getting a beer open not because he particularly wants one, but because it’s been months since he could have one on a Sunday so he thinks he might as well – although I know what he’d rather be doing.

My dad used to play ‘soccer’ and he didn’t know that one game he drove to one Sunday morning was going to be his last game of football ever. After six years on the sidelines of Uni ball and senior ball I’ve seen a few season-enders, and one career-ender. No one can explain what that feels like.

When it occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that pretty soon the season would be over, I thought how lucky we are to have it at all and, how lucky the boys are to be young enough to play, fit enough to play and evidently not too busy to play. In fact the only drop-outs I can think of over the last year or so have been domestic commitments, which is a whole new joy in itself.

So if our friend may be on his way to being ‘way too old for this’, I don’t think he quite meant it. I don’t know what the boys do in the off-season but I do know that they spend a great deal of it wishing it wasn’t the off-season. And so do I. Our Head Coach was called up to GB when he was 38 (although he did turn 35 this week – that’s just the kind of powerful geezer the HC is) so you’re never really too old for anything.

The senior team have only got two games left and then the formal season is over for the year. For the Academy it’s considerably, potentially more – I’ll get to that.

There’s bound to something to blog about it in October.