Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Football still causes spark inside
- 2013 - 962 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- December 2009 - 163 articles
- November 2009 - 166 articles
- October 2009 - 231 articles
- September 2009 - 161 articles
- August 2009 - 136 articles
- July 2009 - 153 articles
- July 30th, 2009 (Thursday) - 20 articles
- July 29th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 10 articles
- July 24th, 2009 (Friday) - 1 articles
- July 23rd, 2009 (Thursday) - 18 articles
- July 22nd, 2009 (Wednesday) - 10 articles
- July 21st, 2009 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- July 17th, 2009 (Friday) - 11 articles
- July 16th, 2009 (Thursday) - 4 articles
- July 15th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 8 articles
- July 14th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 3 articles
- July 11th, 2009 (Saturday) - 1 articles
- July 10th, 2009 (Friday) - 6 articles
- July 9th, 2009 (Thursday) - 20 articles
- July 8th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 10 articles
- July 7th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- July 2nd, 2009 (Thursday) - 27 articles
- June 2009 - 126 articles
- May 2009 - 164 articles
- April 2009 - 242 articles
- March 2009 - 204 articles
- February 2009 - 163 articles
- January 2009 - 157 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
|Football still causes spark inside|
I have always wondered if I had been reared in a different environment would football stir me the way it does. For the first 34years of my life, football was my life. I was the son of a football coach.
The first thing that I received when I was born was a football; not a baby bottle, but a football. Daddy loved football. It was his ticket to an education. A little country boy from Crowville was the only child of 11 from a poor farming family that was able to go on to college. And when he graduated, he became a football coach, a very good football coach. To be around winning all the time certainly was an influence toward the love that I developed for the atmosphere created by football.
I don't know how old I was before I was taken to the games. I was born in Monroe when Daddy was the head coach at Neville High School. I do not remember any Neville games. The first games that I remember attending were when my daddy was the head football coach at Tallulah High School.
Because Daddy's Tallulah teams went to the state championship a lot, it made him a popular figure around town. And if you are the son of the coach, that made you popular also. Popularity by default. I was spoiled early in life.
I was so small when I was a little boy but that did not stop me from thinking I was the best. I thought I was as big as the rest of the boys. I thought I was as tough as any of the boys. Football gave me confidence. Being the son of a successful coach gave me confidence. Having a mother who understood the makeup of a good self esteem was another confidence builder. She knew how to build confidence. Mother knew how to encourage. I bring Mother in here because being the son of a football coach also made me a son of a man who worked long, long hours. But Daddy was not an absentee father. He took us with him on many occasions on his coaching related activities, like going way out in the country to check on one of his players.
I don't know if Daddy got to see me play much as an athlete. I think that he saw a few Little League games, but I don't remember his getting to come to one of my grammar school football games. College coaching certainly made a difference in our getting to see our Daddy. There was some off time in high school coaching, but college coaching was a 12-month job. If not coaching, Daddy was always recruiting; always. When you had to build from scratch, and I mean scratch, the job was a relentless pursuit of players to build a program that had fallen into total disarray. This was the only time that I have any negative feelings about Daddy's coaching. Northeast had 17 players when Daddy took over. But that is another column.
I am 65 years old and when I watch ESPN sports, my heart still aches for a game that I love passionately. When I see videos of games and players running the ball, I feel the same spark that I had when I played football and later when I coached football. That passion has never diminished. I know that I missed a large portion of life. When I left coaching, I changed as a person, and it certainly was not an improvement. As Revelation says, "I left my first love."
There are not many more decisions that are as significant as choosing to follow the passions of your life. Pursue your dreams.
Robert Charles Payne is an inspirational writer who lives in West Monroe. He can be contacted by e-mailing email@example.com.