The Making of an Offensive Lineman

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I am often asked why I chose to play on the offensive line. It’s a tough, dirty job that requires much self-sacrificing for others to gain notoriety and fame. When the only time people in the stadium hear your name called out over the loudspeakers is when bad things happened, it obviously isn’t done for popularity purposes.

So when people ask me about my choice of vocation, I tell them the truth. It was easy.

First of all, nobody ever starts out their football careers wanting to be an offensive linemen. Naw, if you’re going to play in the trenches, you want to at least be on the defensive side of the ball. That way you could do something that sets you apart from the crowd. Crush enough quarterbacks and you get noticed. Stuff the other teams running  game and everybody thinks you’re a stud. When you’re a hog, not only are you usually sporting a “Dunlap” as in my belly done lopped over my belt, but you also have a bad haircut and zits. Kind’a comes with the territory. And there’s never enough food around.

I wanted to be a running back when I started out back in Orchard Park, NY. Yeah, people scream your name, the chicks dig you, and life is generally good. My head coach in high school, Harris Weinke, wanted to put me on the line. I was adamant that I wanted to play fullback. So I became a fullback after we struck a deal. He would let me play fullback until I fumbled the ball, then he promised to stick me on the line. And he assured me that with my ball skills, it was only a matter of time until I did. Naturally I jumped on this opportunity and set about to prove how wrong he was, and make him eat his words.

Well, in my first game as a junior in high school, I fumbled the dang ball and he was true to his word. See? Easy.