Many people find it strange when they find out that I grew up in Southeast Texas and never played or watched football. There are many reasons for this: First, my father played football and got hurt, so he didn’t want that for me. Second, I was never very popular in high school, at least not in the traditional sense, but I will save that for another day. Third, the town shut down, so it was a perfect time to skateboard! In short, due to lack of exposure, I understood the rules of football, but I didn’t understand the “why” behind the game. It baffled me that people could get so passionate about it. This last week or so, it has clicked. It’s war.
Now, it is only a game, not an actual war, but it’s totally war! War…that’s something I understand. Thanks to Mr. Alldredge of Dayton High School, History become the first subject that I truly loved. To study History, is to study war — plain and simple. Furthermore, I went on to join the Navy when I was 16 via the Delayed Entry Program. They recruited me to Intel. My parents signed the dotted line along with me, because I was a minor. All of my colleagues were struggling with which Ivy League or State school to go to, and I was coasting easy knowing what I was going to do — Fight For Freedom, Defend the Constitution, Travel the World, and Party My Ass Off. Little did I know, there is a reason military people gain the hardcore party reputation. It’s not pretty, and I will also save that for another day.
My senior year was fun, and very formative. I fell in love with Math and Physics thanks to Mrs. Harden and Mrs. Ginsel, respectively. Wouldn’t you know it, I struggled in English. True story! Ask Mr. Colston, he was an amazing English teacher! It wasn’t his fault, my brain just didn’t work that way at 17…I wasn’t ready, yet. The hardest lesson was learned in county jail. I was arrested in January of 2004 for a Minor in Possession of Alcohol. Now, there was no evidence on me, but I plead guilty because it was the “right” thing to do — because my father and the cops asked me to. I was not arrested in my element, the street, I was brought in to the police station by my father, due to another angry parent. I am not mad though, I just think its hypocritical that he was willing to put his friend’s son in jail but not his own boys. No matter, I would still share a meal, beer, and a prayer time with anyone in that family. Life is rough on all of us. He was just trying to protect his own.
Due to the arrest and the things that followed, the Navy put me under review. In short my recruiter told me to lie about the incident. I wanted to tell the truth, but I trusted my recruiter. After all, I had already lied about using cannabis, and about my allergies, so what was one more lie? I really wanted to join the military, and I knew that a few small lies were the price to pay. He even told me that I would likely get asked about it, and that I should stick to my guns and not back down. Fast forward a bit: when I got to bootcamp, I was brought into an office, and was asked about the incident. They eventually said, “Mr Wagenseller, we are going to cut straight to the point: Did you willing lie, or did your recruiter ask you to lie.” I pondered for a moment wondering what it would cost, and managed to mutter, “No.” They took a moment and said, “Well, with this information in mind, we are going to have to remove you from Intelligence.” My heart literally broke. I had been hanging on to this dream for over a year, and a choice to lie for my recruiter cost me everything.
After working as an Undesignated Seaman Maverick Has the Ball for 1 year, and then Inport Security Force (ISF) for 6 months, they put in charge of an armory. It was fun, and I was good at it! We sat around all day and night, cleaned guns, trained others, and got to shoot alot of cool stuff! Due to my physical health When the Grim Reaper Calls, I couldn’t continue to lug around the Browning .50 cal and his friends. This caused me to go to shore duty, where I really pursued religious studies. Finally, I started to develop a love for reading and writing, and in the interest of time, I am going to transition now to “What does this have to do with football?” I am glad you asked!
Football is war. An armory is for Defense and Intel is for Offense. Defense is a team, but it is OK if someone wants to jump out of the pack and hit the quarterback. It’s not for me, though. I like Offense. Offense has to be finely orchestrated. There are no lone rangers, only a well-oiled war machine; otherwise, they lose. I was able to predict the Broncos would win this Super Bowl with little experience, why? Because Defense wins the game. When a state is bold enough to thumb its nose at the Federal government and say, “Come and take it.” Those are some warriors! I know what some of you are thinking, “But, KC, we aren’t at war.” My response, “Are you sure?” Not only do we have the War on Terror, but the War on Drugs, and the War on Privacy. What war do we need next? I know. Luckily, my generation is getting older and we are upset, to say the least. We are casting votes, advocating for REAL change, and ready to win the world for Christ. It looks different than it has for the last 100 years, but that’s the point. You can sit on the sidelines, or you can mentor (coach), or just bring us some Gatorade. Maybe your job is to stand a security watch, or drive the vehicles. I encourage you not to waste your life spectating, but get involved. Do something to change the world. Start small. That’s all we can do.
Don’t get me started on When Life Throws Curballs! LOL
Wagen, over and out.