The Unsung Heroes of Football

Andrew Rude, Staff Writer

If you pick up a Saturday edition of The Citizen Newspaper, and go to the sports section, you will see articles about the previous night’s high school football games. If you read any article you will hear the talk about how this running back scored four touchdowns, or how this team’s quarterback threw three touchdowns, and this team scored 60 points.

What you won’t read about is the people who blocked the giant mammoths chasing the backs, or the people who gave that quarterback eight years to throw those touchdowns. The people who I’m referring to are the linemen. The most underrated players on the field.

Everyone likes the people who score, but no one appreciates the people who got them there. There are also a lot of stereotypes about us linemen.  People think all of us are fat, slow, uncoordinated players. Well that may be true in some cases, but in most cases us linemen are strong, fit, and in the best shape. Some people think it’s easy playing on the line, well let me be the first to tell you that those people have never played on the line before. People think all you have to do is sit there, and hit the guy across from you. That is not even close to being right. Most of the time us so called “piles” are sprinting full speed across the field, and taking on two defenders at once. The line is one of, if not the hardest places to play. I’d love to see the quarterback take on a 300 pound defensive tackle that is hurling all of those 300 pounds at him. Then maybe next he’ll think twice before you call us unskilled athletes.  Linemen may not be able to throw the football, catch, or have all the skills that the receivers, and the running backs have, but it takes a lot of hard work to become a “pile.” There’s a lot of footwork, steps, and blocking techniques that come with being on the line.

There is one thing that absolutely ticks-off every one of us linemen. Which is when the skill players say,”You guys don’t do anything during practice, why are you guys tired?!” That statement is entirely wrong. Linemen are always hitting each other, and running drills, working on this,and that during all of practice. It takes a lot out of a man to run full speed into a guy and push him out of the way, and then do the same thing over, and over again. The so called “skilled athletes” run one play and they’re winded. They couldn’t even make it through half of a normal line practice, and in the games they would get killed. But of course they get all the credit. Nobody recognizes the linemen who just demolished some kid which allowed the running back to run 60 yards for the touchdown.

I think,  for what we do every single play every game, we deserve some credit. All we are asking of you is next time you’re at a football game, watch the line, see for yourself what we do every play, and when the quarterback throws a 70 yard score, think to yourself,” Wow! that was some great blocking by the line there!” All we are asking for is a little appreciation once in awhile.