Last night, Sam's high school team played and lost the first playoff game of the season. It was his last game of organized football. He understands that a guy who is 6'2" and 150 lbs will never play on the D-line of the Big Ten and Pac Ten universities where he is applying. Football has been his life since he started playing Junior Pro in 3rd grade.
He came home distraught. I told him, "You played with all your heart and sometimes that is the most important thing." To someone who is nearly 18 and still believes in the realization of dreams, my words must sound hollow. Eventually playing with all your heart isn't the most important thing, it's the only thing.