by Kerry Taylor
Hey, hey, hey, guess who's back? I bet you thought I was done. Ah ha, my football story is not quite done yet. When we last spoke (Part 12) I just came back home from an interview and there was a message left for me from a coach of the XFL. I packed my bags and headed out west to play for the L.A. Extreme.
The XFL was a fun time. An interesting league and brand of football. It was like you threw the NFL, CFL, AFL, and WWE into a bowl, mixed it up with a bunch of high level football players, baked it, and out came the XFL. For those that aren't aware, some of the glaring differences were:
- A player can go in motion anywhere, not just side to side like the NFL, or forward and back like the CFL and AFL.
- Instead of a regular old coin toss, it was a 40 yard dash.
- The television cameras were everywhere, on the field, in the huddle, in the stands.
- The Superbowl was called the Million Dollar Game, where the winning team splits 1 million dollars.
- You could put any name you wanted on the back of your jersey.
- No fair catches.
With all these differences, it was still football, just the presentation wasn't always the best. It was very rushed to get the product on the field. We had a short training camp and then it was, let's get the season started. All in all, as a player, it was a great time despite what critics say.
When the season concluded, I didn't have any calls from an NFL team. What I hoped for, an opportunity to get back in the NFL, never came to fruition, so I just planned to return to the XFL the following season. Of course, shortly after that, I received a phone call that the XFL season had been cancelled. Whelp, there goes that idea. So, my focus then shifted again. I said to myself, "Self, here we go again, time to start looking for another career." All the while, in the back of my mind, I was hoping for another break to get a chance to get back on the field. So I stayed with my workout routine of two-a-days, doing workouts in the early morning and in the afternoon.
I did drag my feet for a while when it came to looking for a job. I didn't put my whole self in it because it was like I was giving up on myself, I was giving up on a dream. Eventually, per the advice of my old college strength coach and mentor, Bob Otrando, I became a Personal Trainer and continued with being a High School Football Coach. It was a marraige made in heaven for me. I loved both opportunities. I was able to take so many aspects of my life and apply them into both. The hard work, overcoming adversity, learning, teaching, leading, motivating...man, I'm getting excited just thinking about my early years of coaching from both aspects.
As the high school football season was underway and my clientele list rapidly grew, guess what happened. Do you know? Do you know? You guessed it. Another phone call, but from a league I never heard of...the Arena Football League. What was this all about? I had no idea. All I knew is that it was indoors. But again, not the type of football I was used to. But your boy was charged up, excited and ready to see what it was all about!
Tune in next time as I make my transition from 11 on 11 outdoor football to 8 on 8, indoor, fan-friendly football. Until next time, live a life 1 degree above the rest.