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SO YOU WANT TO BE A FOOTBALL PLAYER...
Herman Hickman
September 13, 1954
...you have to be ready for a hard time first. This is about the second week of practice, and it hasn't been much fun so far. In fact, you feel more like a football than a player:
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September 13, 1954

So You Want To Be A Football Player...

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...you have to be ready for a hard time first. This is about the second week of practice, and it hasn't been much fun so far. In fact, you feel more like a football than a player:

You're up at the crack of dawn, your muscles stiff and sore. You get an hour's skull practice first, with your group coach. If you're a lineman, you meet with the "men," known also as the "lunkheads," or "those big, dumb oxen." You, in turn, refer to the back-field as "the boys," or the "artists."

Morning practice comes next, when your breakfast has digested. Your pants and pads are clammy and cold as you climb into them. Stiff-legged, you trot to the practice field. The first order of business is calisthenics. For psychological reasons they call them "conditioning exercises," but by any name you hate them. Then comes an hour and a half of hitting the sled, blocking dummies, three-on-one drills, tackling, work on assignments. Pound, pound, pound. At the other end of the field the "artists" just seem to be having fun, throwing the ball around....

After a heavy noonday meal there's a lecture by the head coach for the entire squad. You're so sleepy you can't hold your head up—until a hotfoot, applied no doubt by an "artist," wakes you up with a yell. The head coach seems to notice you for the first time.

Back to the dressing room after that, for afternoon practice. Two more hours of fundamentals. Drill, drill, drill. When you're finally dismissed the coach warns that everybody should be in bed by 10:30. That's the most useless speech of the season. By 8 o'clock you're all in the sack, except maybe those dancing girls in the backfield.

Then, suddenly, school starts. Only one practice a day! Next week you open with State. Gone are the aches and pains. Here come the headlines!

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