The anthem of my life since 2008. “Sunday is gameday! Sunday is gameday!”
I originally supported my University American Football team, the Bangor Muddogs as I ran with the crowd who were in fact the founding members of the team.
My first year of university wasn’t a particularly happy one but I remember the very first game those boys had, they didn’t even have a team strip yet and turned up a group of 16 enthusiastiic chumps wearing whatever football jerseys and kit they could find. As they crashed against each other, something in my head went *click*. I knew that this was something I could love and get involved in, from that point on I was hooked and I still haven’t looked back.
<– this is Ron, the official Muddog. I could explain why we called him that but it’s only funny to a select few former students. Even then, I think we only pretended to laugh…
The best thing about British football is that it’s all amateur and the family atmosphere is remarkable, these men are a band of brothers who will stick with you to the very end. They stood by me throughout some of the worst years of my life and I know that I would drop everything to help any one of them out if they called.
My current team is the Chester Romans, I joined them a couple of years in the position of gameday manager and treasurer after my graduation from University when I realised that I was getting older but all the young whippersnappers were just getting younger. By joining a team of older guys, I can at least preserve my youth for a few years more and feel less sleazy checking out their derrieres in tight game pants.
I’ve worked hard to become a part of this team but the significant difference is that as we are all ‘grownups’, we don’t often get the chance to hang out together and it can make bonding hard but I still know that if the excrement hits the rotational device, I have an extended family that’ll be there to catch me as I fall. You just can’t say fairer than that.
Today, being Sunday, IT WAS GAMEDAY! The run up to kickoff today was wonderful, but the game itself was a little more grinding as we suffered our third consecutive defeat of the seaso after a couple of winning seasons. I think the worst part of this is watching them all deflate and lose passion for what they’re doing. They just need one win to remind them why they do what they do and to inspire the rookies on to greatness but what they need to realise most of all is that it really isn’t about the winning, it’s about taking a day out of the monotony of real life and getting together with a team of brothers at your back and go up against another team who love this crazy sport as much as you do. There’s always going to be a losing team in this clash, sometimes it’s going to be you but for every loss you take, another team is going to feel that accomplishment and high you did last time you won and you just can’t begrudge them that if you fought against them to the best of your ability.
All in all, taking into account that we have just moved up a division due to our past few seasons’ success, I think we need to be gracious about these defeats and keep our heads held high.
“Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with the dignity that we absorbed the loss” – Doug Williams