by Kerry Taylor
Hey, hey me again! You bored yet?? The final whistle has not been blown on my career. My next pursuit to keep it going was heading into Arena Football and seeing what that may lead to. A lot of guys have gone to play Arena Football and wer able to get back into an NFL training camp. Hmmm….we’ll see.
The Arena game is a fun game to play and watch. As a player, you’re taking it back to Iron Man Football. I played fullback and linebacker which, in my opinion, are the toughest positions to play in the Arena game. You basically are doing the same thing on both sides of the ball. One side you’re attacking and trying to destroy your opponent, the other side you’re playing guardian and protecting the QB. 90% of the time it was a car crash that you knew was coming and had to do your best to make sure you could get into another accident, lol.
At this time the game was completely new to me, but I loved every bit of it. It was a lot quicker than the 11 man game we all know so well. As training camp started with the Dallas Desperados, it took a while to get used to the differences in the game, (I touched on those in Part 14) and I caught myself thinking way too much. Any athlete that understands sports will tell you, the more you’re out there thinking, the less you can be yourself and the athlete you want to be. The true you doesn’t come out until things can happen naturally. For that very reason, I was struggling to shine like I wanted to, but knew deep down inside that once I was comfortable I would be okay. I just hoped it would happen before it was too late.
Every practice and film study I was getting increasingly more comfortable with the game. Then, the most frustrating thing that could happen to any football player, especially those trying to make a team, happened. Do you know what it is? Arghh, yeah you guessed it. The injury bug hit me in practice while blitzing and having one of our normal collisions. I had my head down too much and ended up spraining my neck. The saying is, “you can’t make the club in the tub.” So now I was regulated to playbook, film study and mental reps. UGH!!! Now what?!? The neck isn’t something you push through, so I rested it and rehabbed as much as possible until I received the A-OK from the doc. When I finally was cleared, it was time to make a statement of what I could do. Practices went well. I didn’t have any of the nervousness you think you would have after injuring your neck. Before long it was time to play a real game. I played a bit and thought I played well enough, but a week later I was released and heading back home again. Frustrated and pissed off, I truly felt minus the neck injury I would’ve been on that team through the whole season. So, home I went to get myself 100% healthy and wait for, hopefully, another call to play somewhere. I was back to being a trainer and coach. Eventually, the phone did ring again and it was the New Haven Ninjas, which was an Arena 2 Football Team in Connecticut. Being a part of this team was going to be tougher to manage than it was in the past with other teams. Any idea why?
Until next time, continue to live life 1 degree above the rest.