PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) - In an effort to get back into the game, some former NFL players are grabbing flags and hitting the football field.
“Things don’t work quite the same and it hurts a little bit sometimes. You can’t straddle it out like you used to but the competitive juices are still there,” said former Miami Dolphins player Jason Taylor.
As the players get older, options for organized athletic competitions dwindle, but that doesn’t mean their desire for the sport does as well.
“It’s embedded in us and more than just getting out here and playing on the field. It’s the fellowship, getting to see the brothers every Tuesday,” said former Miami Dolphins player Patrick Surtain.
The average age of the players in the game is 44, but the competition remains fierce.
“You got a Hall of Fame D-end or outside back, whatever you want to call it, but not a flag football player,” said Taylor. “We love the game, we love to compete, that’s what it is. That’s what we do. This is in your blood and you don’t get rid of it just because you get a little older.”
While the team’s general manager and coach wouldn’t drop any names, their initials said it all.
“J.T., P.S., D.P., they get pretty competitive when the game starts,” said former Miami Dolphins player Orande Gadsden. “We love football, that’s what it is. It bonded us for many years and it probably will until it’s all over. We’ll be talking football when we’re 80, 90 years old.”
Although their passion for the game is strong, it can’t hide the toll an injury takes on a player.
“If we go down it’s a full two weeks out so I just want to be prepared. I got my knee braces, I got the heat on my back,” said Gadsden.
These now high school football coaches face a challenge with their new opponents.
“They want to win, they want to beat the crap out of you,” said Taylor.
“You slip up once it’s going to beat your ass,” said one high school player.
“They may be a little bit older but they ain’t lose their juice,” said another player.
The team celebrates with their motivation in mind, Menace-2-Sobriety.
“We’ve been real about what we do and right now after we win we have a nice, cold Gatorade,” said former Buffalo Bill Daryl Porter.
“Anybody want some let us know, contact Donovan. We only doing it for charity though. Charity, that’s it,” said Gadsden.
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