Living in a college town with a university known for its sports teams — the University of Colorado, Boulder — is mostly a benefit. Sometimes traffic near the university can be a bit out of control, but we have a great bus system here to compensate. There are some very interesting upsides, too, however, one of which I encountered just a week or so ago when I took my family out to the local “Old Chicago” restaurant for dinner.
The entire back room was closed for a private party and as we sat and watched, lots of University of Colorado, Boulder sports staff came into the restaurant and started setting up tables, appetizers, and piles of CU hats, information folders, and more. Then a group of big, bulky, athletes came in, all looking relaxed, pleasant and ready for some free pizza.
Finally, a group of younger, more anxious young men came in, with their parents or guardians, each of these young men clearly not knowing anyone but eager to figure the situation out and make a good impression.
I stopped one of the CU coaches as he walked past our table and asked what was going on. He smiled and told us that it was a recruiting dinner, part of their recruiting campaign for the Buffs football team.
The table arrangement was interesting: each candidate player was seated with their parents, one staff member from the CU coaching staff (and there were a lot of them!) and, where possible, one of the existing team members. There were a lot of big shoulders tucked into those tables, I’ll tell you.
What made it all so wonderful an experience was the looks on the faces of the young men being courted by the team. They were all glowing with anticipation, excited at being able to talk with the coaches and, most of all, the current team players. Their parents were impressed but often looked a bit wary or overwhelmed, as I can imagine I would be too in that situation.
But the looks on the faces of those young men, they’ve stayed with me. They were realizing their childhood dreams, sitting amongst their heroes and being given the opportunity to reach for the stars.
It made me wonder whatever happened to the dreams I had when I was their age. And, dear reader, it makes me ask you what dreams have you dreamt lately, and how are you trying to reach the stars?