Everyone has something they obsess about, right? And of course for each person it’s something different. Movies. Television. Books, of course. Baseball. Whatever. For me? Football. Yup. You got it. My blood really gets pumping watching twenty-two sweaty bodies out on that field, the crowd screaming in the stands, the air filled with the excitement of he game. And that’s just from watching it on television!
There is something so exciting about seeing a perfectly thrown pass land in the hands of a receiver, or seeing a running back as he carries that ball into the end zone. I am always awed at the intricate game plans the teams execute, and the footwork that is as good as any choreography I’ve seen.
Weekends in the fall you can find me glued to my television set every weekend. College games are the best, for me, because these guys are playing for the thrill of the game, rather than for enormous salaries. Then there is all the game-related activity: the cheerleaders, the pep squads, and of course the marching bands. I graduated from the University of Michigan which has without a doubt the best marching band in the country. For me one of the biggest thrills was watching the entrance to the tunnel where twenty minutes before game time the drum major would appear, the announcer would shout, “Ladies and gentlemen, your Michigan Marching Band, band, take the field, and they would run out of the tunnel marching in triple time quickstep. They still do and watching them is still one of my greatest pleasures.
So come fall there I am glued to two television sets, overdosing on my drug of choice.
For forty-eight hours I watch these heroes of the game, awed by their athletic ability and thrilled at the way they respond to the crowd. I’m not sure any real drug could get my blood moving any faster or my heart pumping any harder.
But there are other reasons why I love football and football players. I write about strong heroes, and like any hero they are also flawed. They make mistakes. But that’s what makes them human, right? Their success in their stories the way they handle and rise above those flaws. I see that in the football players, when things on the field shift against them and they still come out winners. One of them who always on my mind is Pat Tillman, who was a safety for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. In May 2002, eight months after the September 11 attacks and after completing the fifteen remaining games of the 2001 season which followed the attacks (at a salary of $512,000 per year), Tillman turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from the Cardinals to enlist in the U. S. Army. He was killed in Afghanistan and the world mourned his loss.
Then there is J. J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans. Despite being in the NFL only 4 years he is considered to be the best player in the league. He has established and funds a charitable foundation, run by his mother, that provides opportunities for after school children, in order for them to get involved in athletics in a safe environment.
So I see wonderful heroes in this sport, I see discipline, I see excitement, I see very sexy men who get my bloods pumping, and of course, what we pray for—the thrill of victory. The question is not why I chose to write about football, but why I waited so long.
And speaking of football and desires, here’s short teaser scene from FORWARD PASS!
– Desiree Holt
“Look.” Shay took a step backward. Joe had moved way too close into her personal space and his clean male scent was making her crazy. “Hank should have checked with me first. I’m sorry, this is just not going to work.”
“I don’t know why not.” He moved closer again. “You’ve got plenty of room here. Anyway, I have things to take care of so we’ll probably hardly see each other.”
“What kind of things?”
He shrugged. “Just business.”
“Fine. Whatever. It’s not as if I care.” Shay threw up her hands. “I’m going to my room to unpack. Do us both a favor and find a hotel room.” She turned to look at him. “And get your stuff out of my bathroom.”
One corner of his mouth turned up in a half grin. Shay did her best to ignore the dimple winking next to it.
“But isn’t this the bathroom for these two bedrooms to share?”
“Then I’m sure this is what Hank meant for me to do. I promise I won’t get into your cosmetics. They probably aren’t my skin tone, anyway.”
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