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The Game Inside The Game by Mel Thomas Jr

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Football fans, this year has been one of the most exciting years in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. 

Every week we are viewing seemingly epic match-ups. Games are being played at their highest level. These young men have been impressive. For an average fan it is easy to see how the skilled backs have virtually dominated every week. 

Most notable is the running attack of Parkland and Nazareth, along with the recent onset of an effective passing attack at Whitehall and Central Catholic. Even teams like Freedom and Liberty continue to make progress offensively. But that is excitement for the average fan.

Then there is the fan who likes to watch the game from the inside out. There is something really special happening in the Lehigh Valley. I am talking about the offensive line play. 

Specifically, I am talking about the guys that often have no name, who often receive no recognition. 

I was THAT guy I was when I played. The guys who just do their job every play, and never get the credit for their teams’ success. I am talking about the game inside the game.

There is an impressive shift in the advanced techniques that these big fellas are playing with consistently. I must admit that I am a little biased. I am noticing absolute poetry as these big fellas are now able to pin and pull with ease, lead step and zone step, pass off stunts on both the first and second level, track down DB’s without hesitation. It is just a beautiful thing to watch, and a higher level than I recall seeing in past years. The average fan won’t recognize these things simply because it’s not a part of the fanfare of the game.

I would like to recognize these hardworking big fellas and their respective o-line coaches for the work that they do and the techniques that they are refining. 

To my fellow big fellas, people will never know your name or recognize your greatness, but right now this guy appreciates the mastery that you are showing to us old lineman. So keep working and adding quality to this great game. 

Rather it be 11 personnel (one back and one tight end), 12 personnel (one back two tight ends) or 13 personnel … do what you do best, big fellas! Dominate and control the outcome of the game. To the number 50’s, 60’s and 70’s thank you for giving us old linemen something to brag about. Keep producing 300 yard passers and 200 yard rushers. And continue to take pride without recognition. 

We are watching. Job well done!

Ok folks. Show these big fellas some love, and start watching the game inside the game. I look forward to your feedback. Until next time…

Football is Life!