Dear UCF Football,
It has been said that everyone loves the story of an underdog. After not winning a single game in the 2015 season, no one would've thought that in two short years, you would be playing against the 7th nationally ranked team in college football.
On January 1st, you strapped on your helmets, buckled your shoulder pads and laced up your cleats for this moment. You were about to enter the last game of a perfect season. After all of the doubt and disbelief that you would ever make it here, you look up at the bright lights and the giant jumbotron in awe. You are here.
After several weeks of practice with your beloved coach who helped you get to where you are, you run through the plays in your head. You know what to expect from Auburn, you know that they are an extremely talented team. That final huddle and pep talk get you ready to go full force. The national anthem is played and you get ready to run out of the tunnel. The time has come and you are ready. Ready to prove everyone wrong, and you did a hell of a job doing it.
I was never one to be really invested in sports. I always loved the concept of some competition and I applaud those with the talent to play. When I decided to attend UCF, the football team never played a role in that decision. I truly didn't think much of our team because of its history. I was looking forward to tailgating with friends and finding trendy black and gold outfits. I underestimated the team and I underestimated the sport. After countless opportunities and me making excuses for being too exhausted to attend a game, I finally went.
UCF's track record in the 2017 season became well known throughout the school. Each week, I'd see a new photo caption with a slick phrase about us being the best. That became a reality to me when I saw how packed the student section actually was. I squeezed through crowds of hundreds just to make sure that I had a good spot. If I was going to attend an entire game, I wanted to experience it the right way.
Attending that game was a pleasant surprise. Seeing the drive and passion of these players truly touched me. You could see it in the way that they held themselves. They had so much respect for the other team and played their hearts out every second of the game. As the time dwindled down, the plays just got more and more intense. This pace stayed relevant with the guys as this time was crucial. I was lucky enough to attend an "edge of your seat" kind of game as we went into overtime. Everyone in the stadium stood up and gasped as the final play went down. We were victorious.
The main point of this letter was to really just say thank you. Thank you for helping me find something in myself that I didn't even know was there. I felt a new sense of school spirit and pride after attending one single game. I speak for everyone when I say that we are so proud of this season and we look forward to the games to come.