Monday, November 21, 2011

The End of an Era?

Since sophomore year of high school I have looked forward to the weekends, sitting on cold metal bleachers, sporting #50, or more recently, #49 across my back, cheering on my favorite football player until my throat was sore.  In high school I looked forward to sitting under the Friday night lights, cheering on number 50, all the while praying my high school crush stayed injury-free for the entire night so we could enjoy our weekly post-game trip to the diner.  
Senior Yr HS '08 
C's Groupies @ Snapple Bowl '08 
Freshman year @ MU
Sophomore year @ MU

Junior year @ MU
Senior year @ Villanova

(For the record, we didn't take a picture at the actual last game of the season. He claims we have too many that look exactly the same.  Point taken, but I still don't care how many of these we have!)

Seven years later, a senior in college,  I found myself teary-eyed in the Monmouth University stands as I heard #49 called out onto the field to be recognized as a Senior; hearing his name called over the sound system made the end of an era of collegiate football games that much more real.  

It is not certain that C walked out onto the turf for the last time on Saturday, as he is eligible for a 5th year of representing Monmouth University Athletics.  However, he has not yet made a decision about whether or not he wants to go through another physically tolling season of the sport that has defined the last 16 years of his life with hard work, determination, sweat, teamwork (and concussions.)

Maybe it's the uncertainty of what is to come that has my stomach in knots still... 2 days later.  

I always liked knowing that every Saturday I had something to look forward to, that if one week's game went wrong, there was always next week - or next season. I appreciated knowing that my boyfriend's dedication to the year-round challenges being a student-athlete would inspire me to work hard and motivate me to do my best. I fell in love with the sound of the never perfect, but always spirited, college marching band. I looked forward to the blue and white pom-poms I collected at every game but never remembered to bring the following week. I even stocked my closet in accordance to my beau's team colors. In high school it was red, which was nice as I moved forward into UMD where I could continue to wear red proudly.  Since 2008, however, I've been steadily collecting as much blue and white as I could get my hands on.  Looks like I'll be wearing a lot of blue from now on, even if C won't be.  

It is his decision to make, but I can't help but selfishly think of all the reasons I hope he continues to play. I'm not yet ready to be rid of Saturday games that hold so much meaning. Not to mention the way a pair of tight football pants so wonderfully enhances a defensive end's rear end ;)  (As C would say, "hey, it was lookin at me.")
Who doesn't love a man in uniform ;) 
Whether C decides to come back for another season or to end on a high note (with the second most tackles on the team against Wagner thank you very much) I will never forget the seven seasons of weekends revolving around football.  I am thankful for the excitement each weekend held, wins and losses, and for the amazingly dedicated man #49 has become in part due to this incredibly demanding sport.  He definitely loves this game more than most things, and I was fine being second to football for seven years; I truly believe it has made him who he is today: strong, motivated, and disciplined. Even if he laced up his cleats for the last time on Saturday, these are qualities that will last a lifetime, and Lord knows I will cherish the memories forever. 

All good things must come to an end, anyway. Right? 

Love this one - all his roommates/ the best of the D-Line :) 

Love you, Chris.  


stephanie said...

what a sweet post, I loved all the pictures!!

Sarah said...

This is the cutest post ever! My bf plays college baseball and I feel the same way! I look forward to spring ball games so much! I, too, collect everything brown and white possible! I hope he plays another year so you don't have to say goodbye to the traditions quite yet :) Y'all are so cute over the years!

Ashley said...

Look at you guys!!! So sweet :)

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