It's tough playing Bowdoin football
It's tough to be a Bowdoin football player. It's tough to carry the same record as you did last year, going into your last game, knowing that the team has much improved.
It's tough to put up big scores against good teams but only come up with a loss. It's tough to rank higher in such areas as pass defense and rushing offense than other teams in the NESCAC, while the losses to these teams still mar the record book.
It's tough to run out onto the field and wear your heart on your sleeve every Saturday. It's tough to pretend the loss is not right in front of your face for the next week. It's tough that the dedication and heart this team possesses does not manifest itself into Ws.
Do you want to know what tough is? Tough is Justin Foster '03 returning to the game one series after being carried off of the field with a sprained ankle. Tough is Rob Patchett '05 fumbling a bit in the first quarter, only to return to run violently for 109 yards.
Tough is Jeff Pike '04 hitting Bates so hard that the only retaliation they could muster is a punch to the head after the whistle. Tough is Jason Rawlins '03 catching a 10-yard pass and carrying defenders for another 13 yards.
Tough is Chris Wagner '04 playing so hard that bruised tissue on the inside of his left leg gave him a unique swagger all weekend, Saturday night in particular. Tough is playing in freezing, windy conditions and not noticing it until after the game.
Even coming off of a big loss to Bates, an intense rival, last weekend, it's tough for the Bears to quit. It's tough for the Bears to take loss as permanent.
I spoke to defensive lineman Chris Wagner '04 after the game on Saturday, and he stated that, "These losses are just fuel for the fire. They motivate us to do all that we can as individuals and as a team to start a winning tradition here at Bowdoin. That is our goal, and we won't stop until we reach it."
Clearly, the Bears retain the fire to win. However, there is but one chance left to display it. The chance is this Saturday at Colby. The last game against Colby, now nursing a 3-4 record, is always an emotional one.
The last game of the season is where each team puts every ounce of tenacity on the line. This weekend, Bowdoin's toughness will glimmer in the Waterville cloud-shine.
Last Sunday before the Patriots vs. Bills game, Drew Bledsoe told his team, "All I want is everything you got." As inspiring as this quote is, it goes without saying that the Bears will bring everything they've got. With this team, it's tough not to.