The Christmas ‘Dawg bowl

On the Sidelines | Dr. Jack Welch

Why keep coaching when you could retire and enjoy relaxation every day?  Last Saturday I realized one of the reasons why I keep living my dream.  Former ‘Dawg players met at Bulldawg Stadium for their annual Christmas bowl game.  It was a great game played by some former ‘Dawgs.  Most of these players (Walters, Johnson, Hawk, Milsap, Smithers, Jones, Walker, Smart, McMasters and friends) were from the 2006-7 seasons.  The only thing missing was Big Joe announcing their names as they played.
The game was officiated by an expert.  Yes, George McMaster kept the players in control with his perfect calls.  Although the players would second-guess some of his calls, he was steadfast and precise.
Defensive play was not a strength of either team because the pinpoint passing of Brian Jones was next to unstoppable.  The receiving by Hawk, Milsap, Walker, Johnson, Walters, Smithers and Smart was hard to control.
I enjoyed watching the former players talk a better game than they probably played.  Seeing them run, laugh, and compete brought back many memories of every person’s personality.  Maybe there can be more former players play in the future games.
After the game I visited with each of the players in a group.  It was neat to talk to the guys and hear their story.  I asked each player about what they are doing now.  Every one of them was involved in meaningful activities, jobs and was fast to talk about their families. 
I am thinking for the spring football game this year we should have a former Dawg reunion.  Before the annual Blue-Gold game, there could be a 7 on 7 game between former Dawgs.  Then at Christmas each year have another bowl game.  Having two games a year would give more former players an opportunity to make the trip back to Bulldawg Stadium.
I read some of their comments on facebook after the game.  It was funny to see many were complaining of soreness.  They all look forward to a rematch though.
As I look back and think about the game, it made me realize this particular group of players was very close.  They were close when they were students.  They were a close team and led us deep in the playoffs (state championship).  These guys are a good example of how teams usually succeed when the players are close.  These guys still make an effort to get together and spend time we each other every year.  I am proud to have witnessed their fun that day.
Thought for the week, “I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice.”  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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