I first played tackle football in 10th grade. I went out for my High School’s Junior Varsity team as a safety. I remember the first time I hit someone in a drill. In those days, they taught hitting facemask to facemask. The feeling was violent, scary and shocking. But for some reason, I liked it. I quickly became hooked.
I played safety and wide receiver during the next three years. As a Senior, I returned punts and kickoffs too. I was fairly fast and enjoyed the physical parts of the game. I had dreams of a college scholarship going into my last high school season. But then, I stepped into a huge gopher hole (pre-turf days) running a route before the season even started. I absolutely tore up my ankle and basically limped and played half speed through most of my final season.
From there it was on to a Junior College and ultimately the University of San Diego. Playing college football was amazing. I learned the value of hard work, discipline and teamwork. I also had a ton of fun with life-long friends. I considered playing professionally in Europe but changed my mind when I was accepted to law school.
I owe lots to football. In fact, the ONLY reason I went to college was to play. But for football, I never would have gone at all. And football led me to USD, which – in turn – opened doors for me that I had never even considered.
And so now, with the football season approaching, I find myself becoming involved where I can. I am more and more involved with USD, its team and its athletic department. I sponsor a great youth program for great kids. I recently took a group of them down onto the field of my college stadium. They met some of the players, got a tour of the locker room, and had lunch on campus. It was an awesome day.
Football has had a huge impact on my life. I love the game and love what it teaches players. I can’t wait for the excitement of the coming season and to root on my favorite teams – including my youngest ones.