by Jonathan Johnson

In the world of semi pro football lives an empathetic dream of progressing ones career to the next level. This is a dream that almost every football player that touches the field wants to live out, but this dream is only lived by the top 1-3% of Division 1 level players.

Being involved with semi pro football for the past 4 years, I have played with and against many players of great caliber, some have played in a great college program and some even the pros. One thing that you notice about a lot of these players that have played at a high level is a respect for the game, and a great attitude in practice and games. There is almost a calm in their play versus a raging fire to prove their critics wrong.

Players at this level need to understand a few things about professional football. The first thing is the fact that they do not scout semi pro football for talent, and do not take the film from our games seriously. So even with Madden numbers, this does not mean you are “Getting Out”. Another thing is that team scouts have been focusing on character of the players more heavily in the last few years. Go ahead and Google “Vontaze Burfict Draft” and read through some of the articles about him and how he went from a sure fire 1st round pick to undrafted simply because of his poor attitude.

Having a goal and living out your dream is one thing, but this never ending non sense of so many players completely set on moving up to the next level is simply unrealistic. Instead we should be playing this game because it is something we love to do, and having a chip on your shoulder can be motivation for you to elevate your play. But at the end of the day just note that you are playing this game to help your current team win as many games as possible, and if you are playing for any other reason than it is time to reanalyze the reality of why you strap it up.

Many players at this level have not played past the high school level, or a single season of Junior College. When asked why their careers have not progressed, prepare to listen to 99 reasons as to how coaches were out to get them, someone screwed them over, things were not a fair circumstance, or their teachers messed up their grades. Many of the players that fit in this description are the ones thinking they are/can go professional. Let us all be honest, if you are 30 years old playing wide receiver, never played in college, and took 5 years off football while being in the real world; I am willing to bet good money there is a great chance you will never get a single interest from a pro team.

If we can all start being honest with ourselves and really start playing football at this level for the right reasons, this level of football can grow to become something great. But when we have teams that are full of middle aged hot heads just angry about their past and trying to hit as many people as possible, and starting fights during games… This has to stop.

Start playing the sport as a team player, trying to elevate your play to help your team, show up to practice to make your team better, give 100% to set the tone and be an example, and most importantly be happy to be able to still play this game, professionally or recreationally.

In the words of a recently slaughtered lower level semi pro team… #GOPROBRO

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