Here is Sunday’s column. Man, the Camels were so close to pulling off the program-opening win.
Mike Stryffeler, at an age most of wish we could rush back to, had a moment of unyielding maturity some people never seem to realize.
Days before he donned the Campbell Camels jersey and helmet he’s been waiting two years to strap on for real, Stryffeler, who not so long ago was the quarterback of the hometown Lee County Yellow Jackets, had a vision of the future.
The details of that vision remain within the boundaries of his mind. What everybody looks like, who they are and exactly where they surround him make up a mosaic of his own creation.
But the idea is not new. And on a certain level, we can relate.
He talked of looking back on a day that had yet to happen. Of when he will reflect on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008, and smile, tell everybody to have a seat and listen for a second.
Of the vision, Stryffeler mentions his family, among them immediate members who are but a flicker in his mind’s eye. He speaks of his children and he tells them of the day the Camels were reborn, when they took the gridiron for the first time in more than half a century to play a game of football. And Daddy was there.
To hear Stryffeler, one can tell that the final score of the day’s game won’t be the first memory, and that it would maybe take an inquiring youngster to get that detail to come to the surface.
No, to Stryffeler, it won’t be about who won, how they won or why they won. It will be part of it, but not the lasting part. Scores never change, true, but the significance of them does. And this is indeed one that, in the grand scheme of the story, just won’t matter much.
Instead it will be the day itself, the game itself, the happening, as it were, that will forever be stored in Stryffeler’s memory banks. How can it not be? The day had yet to even arrive, dawn had yet to even break, the eve’s moon still had hours to rise, and Stryffeler still knew that above all else, it was the moment of it all that would matter in the decades to pass.
And so he says words that on the surface seem so cliché. But reading them and hearing them are two very different things. Reading them you can still find meaning, but you may miss it. Hearing them, and the emotion in which they are enveloped, and you know that there is a reason why a cliché is considered a cliché. Because it is truth.
So when Mike Stryffeler, the third quarterback on the Camels’ depth chart, a guy who may or may not see action in any given game, whether it’s under center or on special teams, talks of telling his unborn children one day about being a part of something he deems “special”, you believe him.
Mike Stryffeler is a Campbell Fighting Camels football player.
One of the first in a long time.
Catch up with him one day, and he’ll have quite a story to share.
He’ll be one of the very few who can tell it.