Saturday, September 17, 2011

Last Minute...

Tale of the Tape
September 17, 2011
Alyson Gramley, ATC
Athletic Trainer Extraordinaire

Sitting in the floor of the Magnolia conference room at the Doubletree in Bentonville, Arkansas, I am overcome with the urge to blog. My superstitious side would say I don't need to blog pre-game this time because we lost last weekend....but then I remember we didn't LOSE last weekend because we didn't even play!

I can honestly say it seems like we've been doing this football stuff for just a little less than FOREVER. Upon further consultation of the calendar, however, we've only been doing this a few weeks. Camp started August 3, a mere 45 days ago. Furthermore, this is only our second game of the season! Unbelievable!!

Clemson was a long time ago. And gladly so. We played a great thirty minutes. Unfortunately it takes a spectacular 60 minutes to beat great teams...with that said, I liken the BIG opponents to toads. Stick with me on this one.

All our lives, us women-folk have had a fairly tale dangled in front of our beautiful faces with the expectation of happily ever after. And that "happily ever after" is contingent upon kissing a toad! He will then turn into our Prince Charming and we'll be destined to a life in a castle until the end of time. That analogy is similar to the likelihood of beating a "big time" opponent and living happily ever after in a bigger conference, with bigger, more lucrative bowl game appearances, or the prospects of football fairy tale-dom.

Now don't go twisting my words into thinking we can't or won't be an out of conference foe. I've been on the field when we've carried the goal posts out of the stadium after TROY kissed a toad. And for a week or so, we were living the life. Where nobody is injured and everybody smiles.

But then, we returned to the hard-nosed team that wins some and loses some, but churns out conference championships over and over and over again. We didn't change in the process, we just did what it took for 60 minutes to beat a great team. We're still TROY. And we're still capable of beating a team that some may consider to be 'out of our league.'

And David, a small boy, did kill that giant with a few small rocks....

Maybe today is the day...and maybe I have been sniffing too much QDA...

I'd be remiss if I didn't announce the initial 2011 Powerade Player of the Week for the Clemson game, Barry Valcin. Barry sustained a grotesque and potentially career-ending injury during a ho-hum Thursday practice about a year ago. Come to find out, he'd already sustained a similar injury to his other leg a few years prior. He is a champion! He made his return in the Clemson game in a big way!

The criteria of Powerade Player of the Week doesn't hinge on stats on the field. It is bestowed upon an athlete who has had an injury and has done everything in their power to get better, faster, stronger, as the Athletic Training Staff has directed them. We are super proud of Barry for his determination in his recovery...and hope he never gets the award again!

So...as taping begins, I'll sign off. Hoping we can do what it takes to be 'happily ever after' at least for a day or two!

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