There always comes a moment when we think it's best to hang up the cleats. Our talents begin to drop off or father time simply catches up to us. But Marcus Brooks just can't stay away from football.
"Football is just a hobby, this what I do for fun and to stay in shape, and just to get away from the adult issues they deal with so this just clears my mind," Brooks said.
Brooks is the quarterback for the Georgia Crush, the Macon semi-pro football team that has been around for 10 years. Brooks works full-time as a Macon supervision officer, and plays for the Georgia Crush on Saturdays.
The Crush gives adults like Marcus the chance to relive their glory days.
They are playing for the love of the game so there is nothing on the line for them other than their pride for them and the desire to win. Being able to do something that you love without the restraint of those things that the world can put on you is awesome," Georgia Crush offensive coordinator Otis Covington said.
While the players are sacrificing their bodies on the gridiron, coaches are following suit;working day jobs before hitting the sidelines.
"I mean we are amateur status so we are all volunteers, we are here, we don't get paid to do this. We do this for the love of the game, our community and the guys," Georgia Crush defensive coordinator George Burch said.
That love for football has always been there for Marcus. He graduated from Southwest in 2005, where he played quarterback for the Patriots, then he played two years at Fort Valley State before transferring to Shaw University in North Carolina.
It's a game he's played his whole life, but when he steps on the field, he gets to do something he's never done before, share the turf with his brother.
I played ball in Tennessee for a while, I played ball in Virginia, but what brought me back to play ball in Georgia was the chance to play with my brother," Mike Johnson said. "We were four years apart so when we went to high school we never got to play together because when he graduated I came, so that's what brought me to the crush."
This is a developmental league where some players are using this experience to hopefully reach their dream of playing at the next level either in college or arena football, but for Mike and Marcus it's about the relationships they can share with one another and their lifelong friends.
"I've known half of these guys since I was little, with us going to different schools from different neighborhoods, we never got to play with each other, we were always against each other. So being out here it made up for that lost time we had when we were playing against each other and not with each other," Johnson said.
It may not be Friday night lights anymore for these players but as long as they are able to carry the rock down the field their love for the game will never dim away.
"Its just great, football raised me, so I wouldn't know what I would do without it," Brooks said.
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