"Alright fellas grab a knee..."

Men gather in as tight as you can. Grab the hand of a teammate or coach and listen closely: In a few moments we are going to open the 2006 football season...

What that means is this: last year is gone. There's no need to discuss it or re-live it. At this vary moment we have not won a game, lost a game, gained a yard, made a play, or set a record. For those that claim to know our future I say "horse @#%$!". The only ones who can determine the course of events for this team in 2006 is ourselves. And I for one plan on taking this journey one game at a time, because after all that's what the schedule reads!

MEN: I want you to understand and appreciate something; you participate in one of the most recognizable sports world wide. You play at one of the highest levels and you play in one of the best conferences. Your sport; college football has THE most unique atmosphere of any sport in the world. In a few moments you'll gather in that hallway and begin to walk out towards the sights, sounds, and smells that only a few very proud men have ever known.

So before you rush out on to that field in front of 45 thousand roaring fans, or hear the band playing our fight song, before your heart begins to pound through your chest or before you feel invincible: I want you to take in all the sights, sounds, and smells. I want you to appreciate the opportunity that has been laid before you. I want you to understand it's those sights, sounds, and smells that wake men for the rest of their lives wishing for one more opportunity. You have that opportunity right now and it's what you do with it for 60 minutes each week that will determine your fate!

In this room we have 105 players who have been chosen to represent Oregon State University. You're a select few who we believe give us the best opportunity to win. Only 11 of you can be on the field at any one given time. And at all times we will put the best 11 players on the field we have. Regardless of whose on the field, we are a TEAM. A team of individuals, but a TEAM none the less. We all have responsibilities and opportunities. It's what we do with both that will determine our fate. So I expect each of you to be responsible to one another. To pick each other up when things go wrong, to push each other when things get tough, and to push even harder when things go right.

Regardless of our opponent or situation I expect excellence. I expect all 11 on the field to play with the heart of a warrior and the mind of a champion. I expect you to perform at a level deserving of a division I athlete who plays in the pacific 10 conference. I expect your performance to be reflective of our program, your individual work, and a performance that shows your GOD given talents. Because after all men only a very select few can be champions, perform at the highest levels, and appreciate what it feels like to win at this level. We have a group who can do just that!

Men in a few moments we'll gather to begin walking out towards that field. You'll feel anxiety, you'll hear sounds that will drive your senses into overdrive, and you'll smell FOOTBALL! Men you'll have opportunities today and throughout this season to memorialize yourselves and this team as a champion. It's what you do with those opportunities that makes a difference between being memorialize as a "champion" or remembered "also ran". Men "CHAMPIONS" live in our hearts forever, they live in our songs, in our stories, and we all strive to emulate them.

As you start to walk down this hall men remember what you have to play for, remember there is no tomorrow, and make the most of EVERY opportunity before you. 2006 BEAVER FOOTBALL IS HERE! Men play with the heart of a warrior, the mind of a champion, and play OREGON STATE FOOTBALL FROM KICKOFF TO FINAL WHISTLE. SEE YOU BACK HERE WITH A "W" IN 60 MINUTES!

CAPTAINS, CAPTAINS...If we win or lose the toss defer to the second half. DEFENSE SET THE TONE!


Sarg is a longtime poster on BeaverFootball.com.  He can be on the message boards.

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