The following blog entry is a guest entry from former Huskies Defensive Back Jordy Burrows (2005-08)…
What does it feel like to be in the playoffs for the Huskies? I have been asked this time and time again. As a rookie I came to Saskatoon after playing for the Edmonton Huskies where we had a few hundred fans per game. These were always girlfriends or family members that were obligated to show up to games for support.
Coming to Saskatoon I can remember my first spring camp where we had more people watching our practice then we did in Edmonton watching our games. I could not believe it. Then we got to our first game and there were thousands of screaming fans packed into Griffiths Stadium. I was a little overwhelmed and I was on the home team! Throughout the year there was the running of the togas, the cows, and so on and so on. It was impossible to not feel like you were part of something bigger then a football team, but part of a community, a proud community. I thought playing in Saskatoon was unbelievable.
Then came the playoffs.
For the U of S Huskies, every game is treated with importance and the needed preparation is done for every game. That being said its tough to be crisp, quick, focused and intense for every minute of every practice of the year. The coaches know that and that’s why they had to yell and get us to be disciplined throughout the year.
As soon as November hit, it was as if a switch was flipped at Griffiths Stadium in the locker-room. Coaches no longer worry about players taking plays off, players injuries no longer matter, hours of film seems like minutes. Everything else seemed to not matter. Playoffs are EVERYTHING.
Much different than most other sports, the football season is really short. It is 2-3 months long with a 9-10 months of off-season. In any sport at the collegiate level, the offseason is a major drag, full of hard work, sacrifices, and “what ifs.” Players want to make the season last as long as possible and winning in the playoffs can be the difference between an eight week season or 12 week season.
Throughout the playoffs the media is around more which amps guys up. Parents and loved ones bring meals on Thursday’s, which allows players from out of town to eat a good meal at least once a week. Practice is no longer about smashing helmets, but about learning the game plan and understanding your opponents better then you understand your homework.
The entire city of Saskatoon responds to playoffs. Players understand the importance and rise to the challenge. They do everything in their powers to win. Playoffs are EVERYTHING.