Friday, July 29, 2011

Say cheese, high school football players

When we visit area high school football camps to take player pictures, I have a request for those who step in front of the camera: Smile. Look like you're enjoying life.

Based on every player head shot taken going back to the beginning of football, this won't happen. Maybe one player on each team will make his dentist proud. Maybe one. And he'll probably get flack from his teammates for it.

The rest won't smile, and never will. Even if we tell them, "You're going to look back on this in 10 years and say to yourself, 'Man, I was trying be intimidating, but I look like a dork,' " they still won't do it.

Why don't football players smile? Because they're football players. Tough, physical football players. Football players don't smile. It's a sign of weakness, apparently.

The act of trying to look tough doesn't always pay off. Many times, a player will puff up his chest, jut his chin out and put on his best mean face. The result, unfortunately, is that he looks like he has a bitter-tasting lemon wedge stuck in his mouth.

Players who do smile appear to be self-confident, ready for the season and possessing a positive outlook on life - as if their lemonade couldn't have tasted better.

So that's my plea to area high school football players in the coming weeks. When the camera turns its lens on you, say cheese.

- Howard Primer



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