A Senior’s Final Football Game


Brendan Hawkins

The air is ripe with victory. Then, nothing. The opposing sideline explodes with jubilant cheering, but you hear nothing but dead silence. Losing games in the past has always stung, but this time is different. The weight of the deeper realization punches you in the stomach sending you spinning, unable to breathe. Nothing follows this. Football is over.

From a young age, we all hear the saying, “You never truly appreciate something until it’s gone.” Normally hearing something like that would elicit an eye roll or maybe even a small groan; however, it is not until people are older that they realize how true this statement really is. There is no feeling scarier than finality, knowing that from this point onward, there is nothing you or anyone else can do to change the legacy you left behind, for the better or for the worse. That chapter of your life is over, the threshold bound by the chains of time, never allowing you to return. There is only one good thing finality brings, clarity.  It brings the clarity to see how this has changed your life, the clarity of how you will be able to apply it toward the rest of your life, and the clarity of seeing all of the friends you made along the way.

I would like to thank all of my coaches for believing in me and shaping me into the man I am today through our tough conditioning, early morning practices–pushing me to my limit, teaching me how to stay productive, even at the brink of total exhaustion. I would also like to thank all of my teammates who stood by my side throughout all the years, through the good and bad, and all the great memories we made along the way. Although I may not be playing football in college and beyond, I firmly believe that it is in my blood, and the values and work ethic forged during my years of football will continue to stick with me for the rest of my life.