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EU Sandlot Football: The No Glory League

Friday afternoon comes at the same time every week. For some, it is a time to relax and look forward to the weekend. For others, it’s a time to get ready for the night shift at work. But for about 20 guys here at Eastern, including myself, it’s game time.

Every Friday afternoon at about 3 p.m. we meet to play our most loved competitive sport: American football.

We meet at the turf field and play, or if it’s being used, we head off campus to a public football field. No matter where we play, for about two hours it’s sacred ground because of our love for football.

If you love to play football and came to Eastern, your opportunities of playing the organized version are long gone. Eastern will not have an organized football team anytime soon. So is that the end of the road for those that still itch to play the game? Not anymore.

The No Glory League is the best backyard football you can find in the area. Local gyms and YMCA’s only offer flag football, but anyone who loves the game would know that flags just don’t cut it. I imagine that when we’re all in our 30’s our attitudes about tackle football won’t match up with the demands of our physical bodies. But since we’re in our early 20’s, what’s football without big hits, big blocks, and a sacked quarterback? So we strive to keep the game of football as traditional as possible. We run, we pass, we hit and we have a blast doing it every Friday afternoon.

There are no screaming fans, no hot dog stands, no cheerleaders and no coaches. Occasionally, a student or a neighbor of the community will stop to briefly watch the game. But besides that, there is nobody watching, and it doesn’t matter.

We don’t play to put on a show. We play hard, get tired and some of us get an occasional black eye. It’s a time for us to keep a tradition alive. It’s a time for us to take advantage of our younger years. It’s a time for us to have fellowship playing the game we still love. Even the great Vince Lombardi played a lot of his football backyard-style.

“All through his Cathedral years, despite the discouragement of the school’s fathers, [Vince] kept playing sandlot football,” wrote David Maraniss in his book When Pride Still Mattered.

Through our college years, we too will continue to play sandlot football. So next Friday afternoon, remember that at 3 o’clock, it’s game time. So come on out and play.

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