It’s a GRRRRRRRREAT day for football!

Back in college, I was a football manager (yes, you read that correctly). As you would expect, we had practice every day, regardless of the weather. Unless there was more than a hint of lightning involved, you’d find us on the outdoor practice fields tucked behind the athletic center. In pretty-close-to-coastal New England, that often meant damp, chilly, increasingly dark afternoons as the season progressed through October and November.

Heedless of the weather, one of the assistant coaches–Lou–showed up in athletic shorts to every single practice. When he would arrive at the edge of the field on particularly nasty days, he would unfurl his lumbering frame into a stretch and announce to the world, It’s a GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREAT day for football! Bundled up and chilled (and often already soaked to the bone), I’d glance at the crazy man in shorts who was eager to take on a muddy field of hulking, hyped-up college guys. Invariably I’d have to smile to myself; if he could do it, so could I.

To this day, I still think of Lou and the example he set. As a coach, he could have bundled up and retreated to the sidelines with a portable heater. Instead, he subjected himself to the same conditions as his players and worse; where they were covered with pads and pants, he endured every practice in shorts. No one could accuse him expecting more from his players than from himself.

On tough days when I have a big project looming, when I shy away from running because of the weather, or when I just don’t feel like getting out of bed, listen carefully. You might hear me murmur Lou’s favorite line before I jump in with both feet.

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5 thoughts on “It’s a GRRRRRRRREAT day for football!

  1. Sharon Shaffer says:

    It is always wonderful to have those great motivators that have touched our lives. Many times they don’t realize the impact they have on others.

  2. Rodney Wooters says:

    If you are going to sing the praises of Lou, you have to at least give his last name! In case you forgot it was Lou Ferrari. Quite a few stories get told involving Lou Ferrari when a group of us get together. Let me know when you locate him! By the way there was not a lot of love for Coach Ferrari amongst the players!!!!

    • Thanks, Rod. Time has a way of softening memories and letting me take away something slightly more palatable than the reality might have been. I guarantee I often left practice feeling considerably less charitable! At least Lou and the other assistant coaches knew the names of the managers (for the most part); Rosie, on the other hand, always looked at us as if he wondered who the heck we were and why were there. Those weere the days, huh?

      I appreciate the reminder of Lou’s last name. I thought I was doing pretty well to remember his first name!

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