Those of you who have read KYCH for a while know that I like to make fun of Dallas Clark from time to time. There's no real rhyme or reason behind my ribbing of #44, he's a reliable, dynamic player whose character is beyond reproach. Well, except for that time he got thrown out of a girl's basketball game.
Still, Clark's a really cool guy and I'm happy to say that he's a member of the Colts and I hope that he'll stay that way for a long time. Recently, he posted a blog on Colts.com about the upcoming season and getting ready for training camp. At first, it seems like a fairly harmless blog, but a closer look reveals much, much more.
It is coming to the end of the year here.
Translation: In my native Iowa, we celebrate New Year's in August, Christmas in March, and we stopped celebrating St. Patrick's Day altogether because all the Irish people moved away.
I always enjoy this time, but usually once July 4 hits, you kind of start getting into camp mindset.
Translation: Now instead of just getting yelled at by my wife, now I have to get yelled at by Peyton, Tom Moore, Jeff Saturday, the new coach AND my wife. And it's still another eight months until Christmas.
It’s a lot different now preparing for Year Seven than it was Year One and Two. The first couple of years, I didn’t really know what to expect and was a little nervous. But after going through it a few times, I kind of look forward to it now and really enjoy camp.
Translation: Now I know the rookie hazing schedule and I know that I'm not a part of it, I don't have to worry about coming to camp in my workout gear because I know that the guys won't try to throw me out on the field in my skivvies when I try to change. It's nice not to have to wear my shoulder pads to bed at night.
It’s not as brutal as it was the first couple of years when you’re trying to learn the system and getting yelled at.
Translation: When I first got here and I dropped a pass during my first camp, Tony Dungy walked right up to me and said "Dallas, every once in a while you drop passes, it happens. Don't let it get to you." Then he read Philppians 4:13 to me, gave me a pat on the back and told me to go back on the field and do better next time. When practice let out that day I ran back to my room and cried like a little girl.
We had a really good mini-camp and summer school and got a good feel of how Coach Caldwell is and his mannerisms and his coaching philosophies.
Translation: Unlike Dungy, Coach Caldwell likes to say "you guys" instead of "y'all" and he like to pace the sidelines more than Dungy did. I also noticed that Caldwell's breath doesn't smell as nice as Dungy's, but that's ok. I only notice his breath when I'm getting yelled at. Thankfully, I don't have to go home every night and listen to him yell at me. That's what my wife is for, and she has much nicer breath.
Just from the short time we’ve had already as a team, you can see that there are a lot of similarities, yet there is something different about him.
Translation: Whereas Tony Dungy was more of a boxer man, Coach Caldwell likes to keep it real by wearing briefs.
My favorite part of camp is just being around the guys, because this last month or so everyone has kind of gone their own way.
Translation: Peyton hasn't poked me on Facebook in ages!
At camp, we’re locked in and around each other for a few weeks. It’s the dorm time, the meetings. Practices are practices, but everything else, being around them and hanging out with the guys again and just seeing how everyone’s summers were, that’s what I enjoy. It’s our time to kind of get in the groove, start building on winning a championship. It all starts there. That’s always the part I look forward to, is hanging out with the guys.
Translation: The highlight of my year is the annual burping contest. Last year, I came in third but I think Reggie got second because he was using some sort of burp enhancement device, because guys that thin can't burp that loud. Of course, Bob didn't even burp and he ended up winning, but none of us were going to tell him that he had to burp to win. I sure wouldn't.
Although I’m really looking forward to heading to camp, this will be the hardest camp ever in the sense of leaving my wife, Karen, and our newborn son, Dane. It will be hard, a lot different from the years past. It will be hard to leave them, but I think all three of us will adjust.
Translation: Even though I'll be at camp, my wife is STILL making me handle the late night feedings, even when I'm away at camp. I just don't think she realizes that even superstar athletes have to pay for gas.