Some of the best moments a football player can experience occurs in the locker room moments before a game. This is a special time. A time where the team has that last chance to collect their thoughts and prepare mentally as a group before they begin their battle.
The team comes back in the locker room after doing pregame warmups. They've seen the fans slowly trickle in the stadium. They've heard the music played either or the p.a. system or by the bands.
Once they go through the doors to the locker room, you begin to feel the electricity in the air. As a player, your heart begins to beat a little faster. There is a low murmur of outside noises. The muffled sounds of the crowd. The music. The coach begins to give that last minute pep talk. Some yell. Some get their message across quietly. You look each other in the eye. You don't have to say a word. Your brethern knows what you're thinking. You know what they're thinking. A simple nod acknowledges that fact.
For a lot of teams, the last thing done is by having a pre game prayer. A time where the players grab their comrades hand. Other teams just have a hand on each other's shoulders. Some recite the Lord's Prayer. Others ask for protection from injury, guidance for the coaches and players to represent their school and community with pride and a way that's pleasing to God.
Then it's time to come back out. A time where some players get more fired up and ready to go. Some players are vocal in what they hope their team achieves on that particular night. Once the team reenters the field, the murmur you heard in the locker room now turns into a roar. As the band begins to play, you begin to get even more pumped as you slap shoulder pads. At that point you almost want to jump out of your skin because you are so sky high. Then you come running through the banner the cheerleaders made for you, the band plays even louder and the crowd cheers your entrance to the field of battle.
It's moments like these are one of the reasons you play the game and enjoy it so much. It's more than just what happens between the white lines. It's that comraderie that you get only from being a part of group. You share the aches of practice, the sweat of running sprints, and the moments you'll look back on over time and share the bonds of friendships created in locker rooms. It's part of what draws us closer to each other and wanting to be a part of something special.