Football Writing 101

Greg Smith, Ramblings and Rants

And by Seneca High School Students!

My wife Julie is an English teacher at Seneca High School in Tabernacle, NJ, and every year she asks me to speak to her students about why English class is important.

Riiiiight… I’m going to convince teenagers why they should read Chaucer.  Seriously, that’s not going to happen.  The best I can do is deliver the following message:

**A prerequisite for kicking life in the pants is kicking your classes in the pants.  If you want a good job one day, get in the habit of working hard.  Give every class your best and see what you can make of yourself**

This year, I offered a cool homework assignment.  That may sound like an oxymoron, but here’s why it was cool:  I promised them I’d post my favorite assignments on the NFL Films Blog.

I told them to write something football-related, with the only two rules being:

  1. Under 400 words
  2. Don’t bore me

All-in-all, I was impressed.  The Seneca students delivered some fine work.  Here are my favorites, in no particular order:

Adrian Peterson Poem
By Jake Limpert

Adrian Peterson, or call him AP
He’s the one you see on TV.
His name up in lights on the big screen
He is mad good at scoring TDs.
You say “Gee, how could one man be
So good at football?”
He is one player to keep.
Through the line he will leak, leap, and beam
Then go down the field and make the fans scream.
He plays for the Vikings, he is very frightening
This is because the man is fast as lightning.
Opposing fans watch him and start nail-biting
On Facebook, he is what everyone’s “liking”.
He wears number 28 so proud
Wow that crowd is getting loud.
It’s Sunday and it’s 1 o’clock
He is the one fans paid to watch.
There he is storming out the gate
Now it’s time to face his fate.
The team is losing and it’s getting late.
He turns to his teammates to say,
“I will lead you to victory.”
And that’s exactly what he did that day.

The Team of Fall
By Charlee Anne Greco

The leaves are falling yet again
The time is here to watch my friend.
We cheer him on, on Friday night
And see him smirk beneath the light.
He runs and tackles on the field.
The things he does just aren’t real.

You hear the Coach yell “Catch the ball!”
But he’s proud of his boys, the boys of fall.
You smell sweet grass – torn at their feet
You look in the stands – not one empty seat.
At the end of the game we all gather there
Coach says “You did well, the refs just weren’t fair.”

We cheer for them now – coax them to victory
With our chants of success
The excitement lasts.

Every fall, from year to year
We lose a teammate, we shed a tear.
But the coaches are proud
Because they are THE team:
The team of fall,
The team of dreams.

Any Given Sunday
By Brittany Guerin

Free Agency, the draft, off-season workouts, and preseason, all done
It is September now, get your popcorn ready it’s going to be a long run.
Rooting for your team through thick and thin
We’re going to watch football – even the Ryan twins.
Down the stretch, will your team make it?
Will they have the will, the heart, and the strength to take it?
Through it all we see amazing things,
Tebow, Brady, even Eli with another ring.
A record-breaking season, Brees, Gronkowski, Newton, and more
Even the 49ers made a playoff roar.
Now that it’s over, the cycle repeats
Different players, different teams, different defeats.
What team will it be next season, Cowboys, Chargers, maybe the Skins?
Who are we kidding, no matter how many off-season moves that team never wins.
The beauty of this game is nobody knows
No crystal ball to predict the show.
Any Given Sunday, I always say.
Any team, any day, and play.

By Lauren Frake

Pumping through his veins.
Crawling through his skin.
Ringing through his ears.
Hands trembling,
Beginning to perspire through his palms.
Knees shaking,
They begin to grow weak.
He’s mentally and physically preparing,
For what pain he’s about to take.
Heart racing,
He’s pacing.
“I can do this, I can do this”,
He utters to himself.
He takes his helmet off the shelf,
And lets out a powerful roar.
He believes in himself.
Hustling out the door,
Radiating with satisfaction,
Hyped up, ready for action.

America’s Game
By Maddy Schulte

An American sport
A Sunday tradition
A team is alert
Throughout every collision

The game is infectious
The players are spontaneous
Andre Johnson’s a Texan
Tom Brady’s a Patriot

Their love for the game is strong
The field 53 yards wide
And 100 yards long
With fans cheering for each side

A stadium sets the stage
The cheerleaders yell their chants
The rivals come filled with rage
From where we sit, the players look like ants

A kickoff starts the game
The final play signals the end
Each player gains fame
And makes tons of money to spend

The game starts with joy
But a bad loss may cause a brawl
A known game to every girl and boy
The American tradition we call football

The Final Seconds of His Game
By Faith Piotrowski

Dirt shoved up his nails, helmet on his head, sweat dripping from his brow.  He lay there, on his stomach, waiting.  The last 15 years flash before his eyes.  He thinks to himself that he should have just listened to his coach.  But no, he had to follow his heart.  And now, it could cost him his life.

1 Year earlier…

He had been waiting his whole life to be the star.  The thousands of passes in the backyard with his father were finally paying off.  Every day, he had spent practicing plays, running drills, and lifting weights.  His team was truly ready for the moment, and he was ready to lead them.

Coach told him he was the star.  He had everything he could ever want.  He was the quarterback of the best team in the country, had the perfect girlfriend, perfect looks, and perfect grades.  He couldn’t wait to take his full ride to his favorite university the next fall.  Everyone told him he was the best, and he knew they were right about him.

Friday Night…

The entire school was there:  cheerleaders, parents, friends, and families.  The locker room was filled with tension.  Coach gathered everyone in the center of the room:

“We’ve been working for this all season.  We are the best.  Everyone is rooting for us.  No one can defeat us.  All of our practices and drills have been precise.  Don’t screw it up now.  Go out there and make me proud!”

13 Seconds Left in the Game…

They were only thirteen yards away.  Everyone was lined up.  All they had to do was execute.  The whistle blew.  All hell broke loose.  He caught the snap and threw the ball as hard as he could to the open man.

They had practiced the play a thousand times, but it didn’t go as planned.  The ball tipped off of number 13’s finger tips.  2 seconds.  1 second.  The ball was still in the air when time ran out.  Number 13 tripped and began to fall to the ground, as if in slow motion.  When he finally landed, the silent stands could hear him hit the turf.  Then it happened.

Number 13 caught the ball!!!!  They had won the game!  Everyone was screaming, some were even crying.  Fireworks went off.  BANG!! BANG!!

Present Day…

BANG!! BANG!!  Everything went dark.

He now realizes he is face down in the mud.  He lifts his head and it feels like it weighs a thousand pounds.  His partner is next to him, face up, in a pool of blood.  He never knew someone could have so much blood.  He tries to stand up, but finds that he is paralyzed.  Then he feels pain that he has never felt before – worse pain than anything in football.  He realizes that this is the end.  Why couldn’t he have just listened to his parents?  Why did he have to do what they feared most?  He hopes they know how much he loved them and wishes they were really as proud of him as they said they were.

The pain goes away.  His eyes become heavy.  He hears Coach…

“You are the best.  Everyone is rooting for us… Don’t disappoint me.”

He slips away to the sound of gun shots, taking him back to those fireworks he heard on the night he was victorious and surrounded by everyone he loved.

“…I am the best…”

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