Fall and Football
Summer has long since taken its final bow, and the harvest’s foliage has ignited neighboring hills in a kaleidoscope of color. The air has changed and the boys of fall are nearing their seasons’ end.
For years my life revolved around football. Growing up, sports may well have been “religion” in our home. In the 80’s Cedars High’s Dave Jensen’s ideology in our home was as good as the bible. Jensen’s “there’s a wrong way, a right way, and then there’s Jensen’s way” became the 11th commandment in our home.
I probably knew the names of the Redmen’s coaching staff better than the names of my neighbors. And perhaps these names weren’t always tagged with the best adjectives. But that’s the world of sports. You win some, you lose some and you love some and you hate some. But there is that ever abiding hope that doing “hard things” will change you. Football is one of those “hard things.”
I spent most of my younger years under “Friday Night” lights carefully following crimson and gold’s numbers, 55, 44, and 41 (the numbers of my four older brothers) for nearly a decade. Those were exhilarating times- times that to this day have not left me. Names such as Cardon, Whitney, Garrett, Bulloch, and Nakken were tossed around our dinner table like they were mom’s mashed potatoes. I became somewhat of a “young sports writer” in those days carrying names, numbers and stories with me for decades.
Fast forward two decades to a different field, to different numbers, and to different coaches, and I fell in love with football all over again, but this time as a mother. Watching our two oldest sons put on the pads sporting Falcon jerseys was equally thrilling. There is just something about the game of football.
I wish I had been around in the 30’s to watch my husband’s grandfather, Eldro Rigby don the BAC (present day SUU) football jersey. Eldro played for Coach Howard “Tuff” Linford. Eldro was an “end” man. He came from Hinckley High where he was known as a “flashy” guard.
The game of football can track its beginnings to November 6, 1869 when Rutgers and Princeton played a college soccer “football” game. Its roots can be traced to both rugby and soccer. However, it was a rugby player from Yale, Walter Camp, who is credited for “pioneering” the great American sport known as football. And a century ago in 1919 William “Pudge” Heffelfinger’s $500 contract to play for the Allegheny Athletic Association versus the Pittsburgh Athletic Club gave rise to the American Professional Football Association. Two years later the name was changed to the National Football League.
Football for me is synonymous with autumn air, apple cider, and orange pumpkins. Drop by our home on a Sunday afternoon and you will probably hear a football game in the background. It’s just something that is a part of me. Thanks to Grandpa Eldro, my big brothers, and my sons for the football memories and Happy 100th Birthday to the NFL.
Note: pics from Maleck's flag football season this year. It was so fun to watch him play QB and even more fun to watch his brothers Seleck and Stockton as his coaches... long live fall and football!