Come (Fantasy) Camping – Part IV

This entry was posted by on Tuesday, 18 June, 2019 at

As I headed to lunch, I can’t say I wasn’t severely disappointed. I trained, I ran, I did all I could to get into some sort of shape for the camp. Yet still got hurt anyway, and in a non-contact drill (isn’t that always the case!). On Sunday there would be a skills competition. As I arrived at the cafeteria, I was told that we were to sit at our competition team table..hmmm…I was at #15. We were told to discuss who would participate in the Sunday events. As I passed different tables, I could see some teams where the same year to year as they came as a group. My team I guess was thrown together with “the other guys”. I arrived at my table. As I looked around, I realized we had no chance at competing. I was probably the most athletic…which is bad to begin with. Then, I was hobbled on top of that. It was bad when one of the events was Trivia and everyone wanted to do that. Mostly we just ate lunch. A few guys knew each other from past camps and dominated the conversation. I was more concerned about my hamstring. I saw one of the trainers eating lunch on the other side of the room. I limped over to him and asked if I could get more ice for my hamstring. He was just finishing up and was ok with it. We went over to the trainer’s room which is in the team’s workout building. This was kinda cool since this is where I get my autographs each year at the real Steelers training camp. The players come up the stairs from the field, and head into that building. You try and catch them as they go by. Last year Ben stopped for a while, I was close, but no cigar. Obviously, he signed for a lot of the kids. That was the year I did get TJ Watt and Joe Haden though. Had a chance to talk with both of them. The trainer soon came out from the back with a big bag of ice. I was able to get a cart ride back to the dorms too. We had about an hour break before the afternoon drills. Ice and more ice would be on the agenda.

 

The dorm was set up in room pods. Each set of about 10 rooms had its own common living area with couches and a TV and also a bathroom with showers. Each pod contained an RA’s room. I thought this was pretty cool because we did not have this set up at my school. I got back before the others, placed myself on the couch…and ice on my hamstring and both knees. It did look kinda funny. At that point Tunch Ilkin came into the pod area. Surprising. He looked and said, tough morning? I told him I tweaked my hamstring. He said it was smart to ice it, and that there was a bunch of injuries from a pretty competitive morning. He said they might dial it down a bit for the afternoon. With that, Tunch walked over to the RA’s room and went in. I had no idea he was in our Pod. Cool. The others started coming back. Each offered their advice, but I knew I was going to give it a shot in the afternoon. In my brace bag I usually carry an old ace bandage. I really only use it to keep my own ice pack on my knee. Something of an afterthought, this turned out to be my savior. The guy from Tennessee had mentioned earlier he has bad hamstrings. He wore these spandex type supports on each upper leg. Without having such a luxury, I thought maybe I can wrap the ace bandage tight enough to do the trick. The underarmour underwear I had went down about halfway on the upper leg. The brace I wore covered the lower half. Once I wrapped the ace bandage nice and tight, those two items kept it well in place. I changed my jersey and shorts too. Maybe that would change my luck. I had a camp practice jersey, like the one I had Hoke sign the day before, except this was a size 50. It was also #62, 26 backwards for those of you keeping score. Obviously the numbers on the jerseys I bought would be of a higher variety since I needed a larger one. Also, this was a gold jersey. The afternoon would be sunny in the mid 80’s. No reason to wear black. Once everything was on, I did a couple of quick sprints in the common area. It felt it, but I was also able to do it. So, I packed up my bag, and I was off to the afternoon drills.


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