In regards to the Op-Art comic in the October-17 issue of the Lawrentian. If you don’t remember, there was a coffin marked “LU-FOOTBALL WINNING SEASON” with a bucket of overflowing nails sitting on top and a comment in the corner uttering, “This is getting expensive”. I would just like to thank the artist for showing support towards the LU Viking Football program. The comic directed towards the LU Viking Football team not only insults our current players, but also the 2,000 alums that have played before us. Does the artist have no pride or respect for LU? Yes, it is difficult to post a winning season when plagued by injuries. It’s difficult to stand up to opponents who maintain the MWC’s average team size of 105 players when we only have 60 strong. It’s difficult to recruit individuals who must excel at a high level both athletically and academically in order to be successful.
When deciding which college to attend, I could have gone to the top football programs in the MWC, but I didn’t. I didn’t because I realized that overcoming the obstacles and the media associated with turning a program around and convincing others about the importance of such a program would be of a greater challenge and instill a greater feeling of accomplishment than maintaining conference dominance.
For those of you who don’t play football, do you know what it takes to be a contributing member of a football team? Instead of sitting at home or in our dorm rooms playing bridge, drawing, or debating whether to sleep or watch TV, we bust our butt for 8 months during the off season just to play 10 games in the matter of a few weeks. We sweat through 90 degree two-a-days, bleed after getting hit, and play with excruciating pain during a game because we only have four seasons until our careers are over.
For those of you who think the LU Viking Football program is a joke, I dare you to strap on the pads and line up against a 6’1′ 220 pound opponent who is trying to knock you down. Tell you the truth, you wouldn’t last a minute! Do you know why? Because it takes heart, passion/desire, and pride which you probably don’t have. On our team, we have passion/desire. We give it all we have from the moment we step on the field until the final whistle blows. We have heart. When we get knocked down, we get right back up knowing that we are going to get knocked down again. We have pride. We represent current players, those who played before us, and the entire student body.
I’ve been asked why I play football. You could probably ask any athlete the same question and receive a similar answer. Quite honesty, I don’t play for the hits or the glory. I play because when I’m on the field the essence of time no longer exists. I am able to put all of my troubles and worries aside and live for the moment: school, stress, work, and politics don’t weigh me down. It’s just me and the football. Nothing else matters. And if someone feels the need to take away that time from me or anyone else on this team I encourage him/her to stand between us and the football. Knowing that everyday is another day closer to the end of our careers, we are going to make every minute count.
And if someone thinks that saving an extra dollar is more important than having those few minutes to be someone, to set everything aside, and to just react in the moment, hope and optimism no longer exists. It’s the memories on the field that help carry individuals through tough times in life. If one can overcome the most intense training, pain, or injury, what says they can’t make it through challenging tasks off of the field?
I’ll tell you what, if you can’t look into the eyes of the current members on the LU Viking Football squad and also into the eyes of those who played before us and say that the program is a waste of time and money, don’t say anything. Proud member of the LU Viking Football Team -Matt Frelich