What 444 stands 4 in 2007
A Heartbreaking Season
A Year to Remember
The season started out exciting, guys wanted to start practice in january. A player from last year was coming on board to help raise money for the team. Fundraisers were started and going well.
Then the bombs started hitting. The person that wanted to help, thought he was going to own the team and players. It put a burden on the team. It finally fell through, but not forgotten. Many threats were made and the problem is still not solved, but is being worked on as I write.
Then Coach Connell was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on may 12. Many tears were shed and hearts ripped apart. Coach connell had been with the red and black team for almost two years. He became our good friend and coach and ended our hero. He died at 4:44 and those numbers stayed with us throughout the season. In honor of coach connell, team members made it to arlington cemetery to his funeral. They also had a special tatoo made in his honor with a red and black ribbon attached to our logo. The team stayed together strong. Everyone working together. First efl game we won 44-9, the second 44-0.
Our 4th EFL game, on August 4th, was against Vermont and we lost 17-16. The Red and Black went on to win a total of 4 games with 40 or more points. Then another heartbreaking tragedy happened, president of the red and black, rob freeman, lost his wife, heather, in a tragic motorcycle accident. 4 corners, 4 vehicles, 4 seconds. The pain, the heartache, the tears, so many tears. Then one of the players wives went into the hospital and was admitted in room 444. The games go on, the red and black stay together, focused, not forgetting the heartaches, but focusing on the goal they set out to do.
The Red and Black are 44 points ahead of Vermont in the overall stats of the EFL (in scoring points) before the championship game. The efl championship game is here, the rain is coming down, the fans are screaming. The red and black is winning 8-3. It is the 4th quarter and vermont has the ball. They are on their 4th down, 4 yards to go and with 4 seconds remaining they get a touchdown to win the game 9-8. Time 4:44 4 corners, 4 vehicles, 4 seconds 4th down, 4 yards to go, 4 seconds on the clock and time runs out. As quoted by vince lombardi: “second place is meaningless. You can’t always be first, but you have to believe that you should have been—that you are never beaten, time just runs out.” “all of the glamour, all of the noise, all of the excitement, all of the color, they linger only in memory, but the spirit, the will to excel, the will to win, they go on forever.” in life, in spirit, in football. Our next season—the nationals: 4 games, 4 wins, forever.
This season has definitely been my most challenging one, but from the bottom of my heart I want to sincerely thank those who care and played for this team, the Watertown Red and Black, the oldest semi-pro team in america.
We may not have had the 4 wins as stated in the message above, but we will go on forever. It was worth going on, because it made me realize how much you players do care, it was just tough with having a 4 week layoff. To be able to honor Coach Connell and have 4 teammates, just returning from Iraq, play for us one more time was worth it and I thank you for that.
To all of you that do care for this team, my family and I thank you. And for those of you that do care, I will see you next year.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you
Through the years many military men have played on our team. Great friendships have been made. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the military and their families at this time.