First Posted: 8/23/2009
Everyone breathe in deep, take a good look around, and say it with me…
Ah, the first week of football.
While Friday nights mean late deadlines and increased stress for me as a writer, Fridays give the real Thomas (if you will, and most wont) plenty of enjoyment.
It seems like just a few weeks ago I was fighting off more respected and higher paid journalists for hot dogs at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh while watching Mount Airy win its state title.
Now, actually just more than eight months later, here we are full circle with the start of a pristine new season.
In week one the uniforms, the grass, the egos, are all spotless and, no matter the outcome, everyone still has a chance after the first game, because hey, Its just the first game.
Walking out on the field at Mount Airy Friday the smells, sights and sounds just all fit perfectly right back into their rightful place.
The excitement is back, building to a slow boil.
The band is on the field, the team bursts through the banner, special teams takes their positions and then BOOM!
The speed, the confusion, the violence, the beauty, all combine together to create something rivaling any creation ever created.
I think Mount Airys own Andy Griffith said it best; What it was, was FOOTBALL.
There was a lot of huffing and puffing during the first game and not only by the players on the field. Yours truly still has a little work to get back to football shape.
Taking pictures, writing down plays and keeping an eye on what is actually happening is more difficult than you might think. But, like the snap of action on the hike of the ball, the movement and the tension feels good. It fits.
Hopefully it wont take me too long to get back into the swing of covering football. Week one showed a little rust, but I think this Friday will be different.
Our staff will sit down, go over the film and find what we need to change and change it. I think we have a good season on our hands. More parity, new blood and renewed conference rivals will help to make sure of that.
But even if you dont feel as strongly about the game as I do, go check out a local high school game on Friday. Sit in the stands and smell the grass, hear the pop of shoulder pads and see the emotion and physical effort of these young men who play for nothing but the game.
It might do you some good and inspire you to get back to football shape or if youre lucky, let you take your mind off the world for four quarters.
Thomas Smith is a staff reporter for The Mount Airy News. He can be reached at [email protected] or 719-1920.