Saturday night football has pulled into the station. Leaves are turning, temps dip into the forties at night, football practice consumes players, and especially coaches. This Saturdays game matches the Arizona Western Matadors and the New Mexico Military Institute Broncos. Richard’s son, Drew, coaches offense for the Broncos and Richard supports his sons. I rode shotgun down and watch this evening’s game from the bleachers as a visiting nationally ranked team in their division meets Drew’s team, close and personal. Football is one of America’s popular spectator sports. All the details are here: bright lights, a grass field with two goalposts and freshly marked yard lines, grandstands, a bright scoreboard, friends and family following action, teams moving onto and off the field of dreams, halftime activities, sounds of hard contact, the execution and non execution of carefully designed plays practiced all week on this same field by the home team. Football is a team sport with individual stars. It is a combination of planning and chance. The best team doesn’t always win. These two teams are evenly matched with only a few key plays making the difference. There is an opening game run by the Matadors that puts the Broncos behind early. At the end of the first half the Broncos leave the field with the ball on the Matadors seven yard line. When the game is over the Broncos lose with the final score 28 to 26. After the game we go down on the field. Cadets, released to return to their barracks, cross the field around us. Drew’s next week will be a study of this game and a preparation for the next. There will be high fives for some players and thumbs down for others. For spectators, a football game is over when it is over. For coaches, the games play like film loops in their brain all season, and, sometimes, many seasons. Drew is disappointed with the outcome, but pleased with his players.  
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