11 A.M. Kickoffs Are The Devil And Every UA Student Can Agree

11 A.M. Kickoffs Are The Devil And Every UA Student Can Agree

I hate them, you hate them, everybody hates them.

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Last weekend Alabama "played" Texas A&M; and it was actually an enjoyable time. It was a fun atmosphere, fans were excited that our stretch of preseason games was over, and because of the fact that we actually may have a competitive half of football. I had a lot of fun and it was a nice tease of the conference games to come. Now I wake up the next morning asking myself "I wonder who we play this weekend?" naturally I get excited when we actually play in conference games.

So I grab my phone and after messing up my passcode a couple times I get it unlocked and open the ESPN app to get next weeks game. To my disliking, I noticed we were playing Louisiana-Lafayette. Now two things went through my mind at this point in time.

First, "Oh man, this one's gonna be ugly I might not make it to halftime." Second, "It looks like I get to make some money this week."

Both seemed like decent, doable options, but then there it was, looking back at me with that evil smile. 11 a.m.

Lucas Film

I was disgusted, furious, and a little hurt. It made me feel like I should do something about it. So that's why I'm here, to give you all the reasons why 11 a.m. kickoffs are the living embodiment of evil and need to go away.

1. They make you wake up early on a weekend

Nobody likes getting up early, especially before noon on a Saturday.

2. It's dangerous for the players

I don't really have a ton of facts to back this up, but what I do know is from experience. When you wake up in the morning your body is pretty dehydrated because of your sleep. I've had a number of embarrassing cramps at early morning football practices because I wasn't properly hydrated. I know these guys are getting taken care of by the best of the best, but I'm willing to be that the average college student isn't looking forward to waking up in the morning and the first thing they do is pound a gallon of water.

3. They eat Kit Kats down the middle

Not breaking it into two and just taking one big bite it's the worst thing in the world... Can't trust 'em.

4. It's never a good matchup

How many times have you seen USC and Stanford play at 11 a.m.? How about Ohio State and Michigan? Or even the Army and Navy? The answer is never. It's always a big school against a little school and for the most part, they are massive blowouts. The sole purpose of the game is so the bigger school funds all the other's sports teams. So they basically show up and get absolutely embarrassed and get millions of dollars for it. Ok I know that sounds kind of genius but when you sit down and actually watch the game, it's sad.

5. They saw "Infinity War" before watching any other Marvel movies

Just why...?

6. None of the fans will show up/stay for very long and it's kind of expensive

All of a sudden if you are a fan who is traveling from out of the state you have a hell of a trip ahead of you. You probably need to take Friday off to get down here. You need to get a hotel/motel because it's so early. Then you need to wake up at like 7:30 a.m. to get up and get ready. If your tailgating you probably need to show up at the quad by 8 – 9 a.m. and if you're of age you need to vacuum down about nine beers because it's a tailgate. You also need to find some form of food whether you make it wait in line for it, or if you're content with eating $7 popcorn and nachos inside.

And on top of everything, you will want to leave by the first quarter because it's such an ugly game. Now if you show me, someone who is willing to do this for Alabama vs Louisiana-Lafayette, I will gladly give that person a firm handshake and $5.

As you can see, 11 a.m. games are just the worst. They aren't good for the fans, players, or for the quality of life. What should really happen is that the earliest game played on Saturdays should at the earliest be at 1 pm. A lot of these problems get solved that way. You do get to sleep in after a long Friday night, you do have time to travel to the game, you do have time to make your own food ext. But will it happen? Probably not. But that doesn't mean we can't kick and scream to whoever runs college football, that stuff like this isn't cool. So share this article and it might happen.

But we still say Roll Tide!!!

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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Soccer Ruined My Brain

Pre-K through high school, I played competitive soccer until I suffered two concussions which have been impacting my life ever since.

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Soccer Career

U12 Girls Win 2nd Division - 7 Wins, 1 Tie, No LossesTippco Soccer Club

I started out soccer in the way most younger kids did -- their parents stuck them in rec soccer to keep them active and have them make friends. I played rec until I was nine and that was when my parents decided I should try to do travel soccer. I joined Tippco Soccer Club and my fate was sealed from there.

I had always been a multi-sport athlete -- juggling between cross country, volleyball, basketball, track, and soccer. Soccer was my true passion at the time. The more I played for Tippco, the more competitive I became. I was an aggressive player and loved my spot as either outside back or center back. I would occasionally play wing, but I could never find my spacing correctly.

When I was thirteen I tried out for the team that was a year above me. I made it with a few of my friends and we would stick together because we were intimidated by the older girls. I bonded really well with that team, but it was cut short when spring season hit. At the end of the spring season, there are usually several tournaments that happen throughout Indiana.

We decided to play in the Tippco tournament with hopes of winning. That tournament, I was a pass-player for another team. This meant I would attend my own games and play for the other team whenever they needed me.


GotSoccer


While I was pass-playing for the other team, I was subbed in for center back. A girl from the opposing team had gotten the ball into our goal box and was about to score. In the midst of trying to get the ball to the outside of the field, she fell on top of me and I hit the ground. When I hit, my head bounced off a dry dirt patch.

My coach said I blacked out for about a minute. I was taken out of the game and screened for a concussion on the sideline. At first, I was fine. I didn't understand why I couldn't go back into the game and why I had to sit out. I didn't see it as a big deal.

By the time my last afternoon game rolled around, I had convinced my parents that I was okay and I could play. My coach allowed me to play until I started having a double vision regarding the other opponents. Basically, he saw my charge for a girl that wasn't there so I was benched and told to go to Urgent Care.

At Urgent Care, I was diagnosed with a concussion that would affect my fine motor skills and had caused some potential nerve damage in my neck due to it snapping off the ground. I wasn't allowed to exercise for two months and I couldn't watch anything that had a screen. Light bothered me and any brain stimulation severely hurt my head.


U12 Girls White Team Wins 2012 Siege at St. Francis with 4-0 RecordTippco Soccer Club


I recovered from this concussion in time for the fall season. I played well throughout the fall. I had no issues except for my balance. During the spring, I endured my second concussion. We were playing a regular season game in Fishers. Again, I was on defense when a girl tried to curve a ball around my head. She failed and hit me in the face.

I lost vision and hearing. I was immediately taken out of the game and taken to the nearest Urgent Care. This concussion was minor compared to my last one, but it affected my memory. I stopped playing soccer after that game and switched my focus to running.


U12 Girls White Team Wins Fusion Fall Classic with 5 Games in 2 DaysTippco Soccer Club

Throughout high school, I ran for the cross country and track teams. I was involved with several clubs and maintained a 4.0 GPA until my graduation. I graduated Top 5% in my class and had little-to-no effects from my concussions. I had a few minor instances where I would forget certain days or names, but I didn't think much of it.


The Aftermath

The summer before college, I had a lot of trouble remembering to do simple tasks. I blamed it on being lazy and not wanting to do anything. I couldn't remember assignments I had to do, along with chores, appointments, and meetings. It wasn't until my first few quizzes and exams during the first semester that I realized something was very wrong.

I knew the information and I would re-teach it to myself every night to make sure I understood. Each time I took a test or quiz, it would feel like the answers were far away in my mind. I remembered studying for the information, but I couldn't quite reach it.

I began getting awful grades. I was used to all A's and upon receiving my first C, it felt like the end of the world. I couldn't wrap my head around why I wasn't able to retain information like I used to. I went from striving for A's to hoping for C's and B's. It felt like I was a failure and I shouldn't have been accepted to Purdue.

It didn't help that I couldn't even remember people and places. Sometimes I would wake up and not know how to get to class or forget the names of the people I had been sitting with the entire semester.

I reached out to the Disability Resource Center (DRC) about halfway through the semester. They suggested attending supplemental study sessions and I was given a letter that allowed me to have accommodations for testing (i.e. extra time, room alone, etc.). This helped a little bit, but I continued to struggle with schoolwork and exams.

I felt hopeless. I didn't see a point in continuing school or even getting a job. I saw myself as a useless student with the memory of a goldfish. I talked with my parents about it and them kind of understood, but not fully. They didn't get why repeatedly studying doesn't make a difference for me.

Now that I'm in my second semester, I still struggle with retaining information. I feel a bit overwhelmed and I have to work overtime on school and clubs. I've made a great support system.

They're trying to understand what I'm going through and are there for me when I need them. I think I'm going to get testing soon to see how this may impact me later in life. It only took four years to have effects such as these, so I'm worried and interested in how the condition of my brain will be in another four years.

I urge anyone that is struggling from concussions or any condition that they're not alone and there are plenty of resources to seek help. Even if the resources can't fix the problem, they can point you in a direction that can alleviate it. I also wanted to stress how important your brain is.

I used to not think my concussions were a big deal and were more of just a funny sports story. They now have real impacts and it's been changing my life. If you're playing contact sports, please wear safety gear. You only have one brain and you can't get it back once it's gone -- take care of it.


Resources


Purdue University Disability Resource Center (DRC)

Address: Earnest C. Young Hall Building, 8th Floor, Room 830, 155 Grant St, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Phone: (765) 494-1247


Purdue University Student Health Center (PUSH)

Address: 601 Stadium Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907

Phone: (765) 494-1700


Indiana University Health Arnett

Address: 253 Sagamore Pkwy W, West Lafayette, IN 47906

Phone: (765) 448-8000


Franciscan Express Care West Lafayette

Address: 915 Sagamore Pkwy W, West Lafayette, IN 47906

Phone: (765) 463-6262

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