Last Football Practice Speeches
My informant described one of his football team’s traditions: “A tradition of football team was that at end of every season the Seniors would give a talk – each Senior would give a talk in front of the entire football team.”
To my informant, “What would they usually say – every Senior speaks after the last practice of the season, marking the end of their football careers. It is very emotional. Seniors impart their wisdom and what they’ve learned and what’s been valuable to them.”
The last practice is an example of a liminal time: the Seniors are not quite finished with football. This tradition aids Senior players through the liminal period, providing a finite moment so the Seniors feel they have finished playing. Passing on their wisdom maintains their role in the football society, since their advice will continue to affect players for years. Since football is a very tough sport, and most of the season is spent trying to be tougher, this moment is vital because it is the first time that emotions are really allowed. Thus, players get to see how much their teammates treasure their companionship and time spent together.