Over the last few days many people asked me how the Stampeder players can state they are as close as a “family” when they have only been together for a short period of time. Despite my attempts to explain the brotherhood and bond you feel as a football team, I could not seem to get across to my friends what it feels like to be a part of a football locker room. There is something about the game of football that fosters “brotherhood” and a feeling of “closeness” that you can’t replicate. A football locker room is a unique place. It is a place where lifetime bonds are developed and secured. It is a place where you develop a closeness beyond what other groups feel. A football locker room is unique for many reasons-
- In my view, football is the only sport that a team cannot rely on just one individual to win a game. For example in baseball, a game can be won singlehandedly by the great performance of a pitcher. In hockey, a game can turn on a hot goalie. Other sports are similar in nature. Football though, is unique. No one single player in football can take over a game and win on their own. Bo Levi Mitchell can’t say to the entire team, “snap me the ball, get out of the way and I will score by my own abilities.” Only the game of football requires all players to contribute to the success of a play and thus, to the success of a game.
- Additionally, football is the only sport that the players and coaches are not only dependent on each other for success but interdependent on each other to win a game. Only in the game of football is the success of team determined on the success of all the other players doing their part. Everyone is interdependent on what the other teams do
- Football is the only game where a team develops, not just one or two, but many leaders. Because of the number of players on a football team (i.e. approx. 50) compared to other sports (basketball – 10, hockey – 20) a football locker room has not just one, but several leaders. There are the quiet leaders, vocal leaders, leaders from each position, leaders on the offensive, on the defense, on the special teams.
- Football is the only sport where the players have to heavily rely on and trust their coaches for their success. Because of the huge amount of strategy and game planning that goes into a football game, the players have to trust and rely on the schemes and plays developed by the coaches.
- Football is the only game where the players spend countless hours lifting weights and working out together. Grant you other sports do this fitness stuff but not nearly to the extent of football players. It’s during these weight lifting sessions that teammates develop a bond and brotherhood not developed in other sports. As well players spend countless hours in the training room together getting taped for practice and getting treatment for injuries. It is during these times that teammates develop a bond and brotherhood, not developed in other sports.
It is hard to explain and harder to replicate, but a football locker room is a unique place that fosters and breeds a brotherhood and bond not seen in other sports. I have been there and understand that, so when I hear the players say we are a “family”, I understand that. It is also in times like this that when a tragedy hits, those family members draw upon each other for strength.
Go Stamps Go. Greg Peterson