I coached a couple of college football players about 15 years ago, JB and Brandon, who were so tough that someone would have had to shoot them to get them to not try or to not go as hard as they could on a play or in the weight room. Hell, they tried hard at everything. They were both brawlers off of the field and JB was an All-American Football player.
I mean, they went crazy, all out all of the time, chased running backs all over the field, were the last to leave the weight room. I used to call them at all hours of the night to go squat just to test their dedication. Meet me in the weightroom in 5 minutes, and they would come, that kind of stuff. Kickboxing at midnight, fun things.
Both of those boys were crazy as all get out off of the field , too. Brandon used to kill hogs in the Georgia swamps with a knife, for gods sake, a freaking knife. And he videotaped all of this kills, put it to music(Hank Jr, of course) and presented it to me as a present, a video montage of his hogs , getting knifed and gutted, the whole thing.One scene was just a hog, hanging upside down draining blood. Hell, that meant a lot to him to give that to me. He'd bring me hunting videos all of the time and we would sit there, hour after hour, watching them.
JB grew up in a trailer in Tennessee. His dad fought roosters and drank moonshine and took no crap from anyone. I can't remember what else his dad did for a loving, but I know that he was a fearsome guy. Kind to talk to , but don't cross him, that type. It used to drive him crazy when I wore sunglasses while coaching, This man hated sunglasses, I am not sure why. He never failed to say, sarcastically, nice sunglasses, coach. The his son would elbow me and say, you know that he hates sunglasses.
On the field? Man, I loved those guys. They would be out an hour before practice in the North Carolina heat, working. And I was their position coach and I worked the heck out of them. I'm talking about 150 up-downs before practice even began. "Read drills" for a solid hour full contact always, tackling the backs on a Thursday before a Saturday game(Yes, taking them to the ground, MY GOD!).I never worried about their legs being tired, they never complained about it one time. We would have laughed at them, as coaches, if they did, nobody talked about it. It truly was a different time.
JB and Brandon on game day? Nuts. All over the place, chasing plays 50-60 yards downfield, dying to win, doing everything that they could just to make a play, competitors to the bone. Fired up, banging their heads together, slapping each other. Wrestling around. I'd corral the boys and they would take the field, jerseys all taped up so that they couldnt be held, heads held proud, living for it, loving it.
I have no idea what they are doing now. I don't really get into reunions and keeping in touch and all that stuff. I'd rather remember them as the warriors from their college days, two of the toughest people and players I have ever been around.