Oh, the countless hours. The hours of phone and in-person time that a coach spends talking to players and, more annoyingly, parents about "playing time."
Why isn't Junior the starting quarterback? Um, I don't know. Maybe because he is 5'2" and 300 pounds and thinks the Wonderlic is a fancy German beer?
Are we trying to win the games? Or just make sure everybody plays? This is not Go Fish. Everyone does not get a turn.
I stumbled upon a "How To Get More Playing Time In Football" list:
1. Train in the Off Season
2. Show A Strong Work Ethic
3. Know The Playbook
4. Be Willing To Do What Is Best For The Team
5. Show Determination
6. Believe in Fairy Dust and Rainbow Unicorns....
(I threw #6 in there....because none of those are the "REAL" ways to get Playing Time.)
Let me show you how things really work here:
I know that 3 periods of study hall, 1 of Shop, and a keyboarding class are a WICKED load of higher education. But you actually have to (gasp!!) get a C minus minus minus to play football.
Stay Un-Incarcerated/Out of Trouble. You know that little voice in your head that says "It just doesn't feel right that I drove to this party and I am only 15 and there is a lot of drinking and illicit drug use and I am stealing this DVD player. I should go home."??? Listen to it.
Ten Practices. You have to practice 10 times to play in a game. So, put down the Playstation Controller, push the bag of Doritos/can of Monster off your lap and get to practice on time. Not that hard.
Stay Injury-free. Do not interpret this as "hide an injury from your coach." Interpret this as "Don't create a phantom injury because you are afraid of contact or you didn't get the position you wanted." I seriously think kids would claim they had an ovarian cyst if they thought it would get them a wide-receiver position.
You have to be better than the next guy on your team and all the guys on the other teams. If you aren't, you just aren't. You can ignore the things on that first list.......You can skip non-mandatory workouts, be a jerk to your teammates (and coaches), not shower, whatever--and if you are better, you will play. People put up with large amounts of doo doo when their team is winning and it is because of you. Just ask Mike Vick. Woof.
But, it really wouldn't hurt to believe in Fairy Dust and Rainbow Unicorns.