August 02, 2015


Last year, I attended my first NFL training camp as a guest of Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell. Sure, this experience was old hat for The Hubs: He had been there, done that for nearly seven seasons as an offensive lineman for the Detroit Lions. 

But the afternoon was SUCH an eye-opener for yours truly, and since I was right there on the field -- literally a stone's throw away from the players -- I was there to glean whatever knowledge I could. 

And what did I learn?

That everything we should do in the real world is null and void on the football field.

Here's the difference between what we're taught to do in real life versus what happens on the field:

Rule #1
In Real Life: Share everything. 
On the Field: Share nothing. Especially your helmet, cleats, mouth guard, and, of course, your jock strap. 

Rule #2
In Real Life: Don't hit people.
On the Field: It's okay to hit people. Particularly members of the opposing team. If you encounter one of them, then, by all means, knock their block off.

Rule #3
In Real Life: Don't take things that aren't yours.
On the Field: Take things that aren't yours. It's every man for himself.

Rule #4
In Real Life: Take a nap every afternoon.
On the Field: Naps are forbidden. In football, if you snooze, you lose. 

Rule #5
In Real Life: Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
On the Field: No they're not. Only bananas and Gatorade are. (They keep you hydrated and help prevent cramps.)

Rule #6
In Real Life: When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. 
On the Field: When you go onto the field, look for the traffic and get in the thick of things. And don't expect anyone to hold your hand. This is the gridiron. Not Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Rule #7
In Real Life: Play nice.
On the Field: No. Nice and rough is the only way to play. 

Rule #8
In Real Life: It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.
On the Field: It's not about how you play the game. It's all about winning.

Rule #9
In Real Life: Wash your hands.
On the Field: Don't worry about washing your hands. In fact, get them dirty. It's the name of the game.

Rule #10
In Real Life: It's okay to cry sometimes.
On the Field: There's no crying in football.

The entrance of the Detroit Lions' practice facility.


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