The day had been in the seventy’s, now running about thirty-five degrees cooler as the field lights came on and there seemed to be a bit of steam coming off the artificial turf.
You never forget that smell where sweat, pads and field meet.
On the aluminum sideline bench the linebacker gave the tape another wrap around his wrist making the twist on top to strengthen and apply pressure.
“Just a bunch of broken-up old guys that like to play football.” he smiled after making the final wrap.
“Hey, got some tape? I think that I broke it last season.” The “Heat” player held up his hand with a finger that was bent in three different directions. “Gotta love it!”
It’s the second week of practice for the Redding, CA semi-pro football team and the first year for new owners Jason Burris and David Williams as the players are given a watchful eye from head coach Chris Hall.
A bit surreal, much like players coming out of the corn field in the movie “Field of Dreams” the players arrived from all corners of the field washed in light dragging what equipment they owned. They came in very good shape; some shape and no shape.
“I’m not here to disrespect you, but, I don’t ever want to see another session like tonight. If you don’t bring it to every practice, I guarantee the guy across the line from you will. He’ll be kicking your butt and smiling all the way back to the huddle.” Coach Hall’s voice was not above a whisper and not mistaken by the players as a request.
Towards the end of the two hour practice you could see the timing starting to come back; sharp long passes caught and hard hits made.
Just a bunch of broken-up old guys on a surreal field of dreams with big hearts. This could just be a very entertaining season.