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What goes on in the locker room?

COLUMN ARCHIVE

October 16, 2000

At first I thought to myself, should I talk about what football players do when they are behind closed doors? Of course, this can give fans an inside look to what the players do. Let me first tell you that many strange and funny things take place; so please don't be shocked!

Throughout the day, players roam in and out of the locker room whether it is between classes or getting ready to go lift weights. The room is transformed into many necessary things for a football player to carry on his everyday activities. For example, it can become a bedroom for a player or a place to study for a test. It can be a dining area to eat lunch, breakfast or even dinner (the coaches don't like that). It can be a meeting place for friends and it practically can be called our second home since we spend so much time there. The reason that the locker room can be so many things is because before practice not all the players are in there at any given time. But things all change come an hour before practice, which is when the fun begins.

About an hour before practice is when all the players begin to head off campus and file into the locker room. There are 111 guys on the team in a locker room that has 120 lockers, the size of that room itself being approximately 1,500 square feet. So, as you can imagine, when all the players are in there, something has to be going on.

There is a section of the locker room where players play "four square". Yes, the game that we all played in elementary school. Some players taped off the room with the tape from the training room and as soon as the tape was down the games began. You would not believe how competitive football players are. No one wants to be a loser. The players argue every call- was the ball in or was the ball out, did he hit the ball too hard or did he put to much spin on it, and so on and so forth. With a line usually eight players deep, players try to get in the game and then work their way to the 'A' Square, and then once you are in the 'A' Square you try to stay there as long as you can. Players have made a hall of fame for those players who have stayed in the longest. While this going on, usually something else is taking place. Usually there will be a few players telling jokes about each other or their girlfriends. Sometimes the players are pretty mean but they are always funny.

In another part of the locker room there is a place called "the corner". It is called this because nine players have there lockers in a square space where there is only one entrance and exit. Here there is a mix from freshman to seniors, from starter to scout player, there is a fruit basket of race and ethnicity, and the great thing is that players get along and take pride in "the corner". The players have put up UCLA posters and keep this area very presentable (ok, not all the time, we do play football). "The corner" is special place and everyone wishes their lockers were over there!

Then there is the shower, nah, we can't talk about that.

The locker room has many faces, it can go from a quiet resting area to a loud fraternity party, but that is what makes it so great. Not only will we remember all the great games that were played on the field, but we will also value our time with our brothers (teammates) in the locker room. Each player plays a role in creating this unique atmosphere that only the locker room has. That's why each time you are in there, it is a special time.

Philosophy of the week:

"Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days." Ephesians 5:16


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