Friday, April 4, 2008

Player Blog: Dan Lever "Gameday at the Catdome"

Welcome back to our 4th installment of the Linfield player blog series. Our blogger for today is Linfield running back Dan Lever. To me, Dan is a classic Linfield Wildcat football player. He came to the program as a freshman and put in hard work as a scout team player, then the next year he worked in on special teams, and as a Junior this past season Dan played a big part in the Wildcat offense as the featured short yardage back. Dan lead the team in rushing TD’s with 4 and converted numerous first downs in short yardage situation.

Dan is another example of what makes Linfield great. He understands why Linfield is important to so many people and that he represents more than just himself. I asked Dan to write about playing at the ‘Catdome and I feel he nailed the way so many of us ‘Cats feel on those fall Saturday afternoons.


It’s very hard to describe in words what Maxwell Field and Memorial Stadium (or the Catdome) means to me or any player past or present. It’s something I think we all hold very close to us, and I don’t think that it makes a difference if you stepped on the field last year or fifty years ago. We all get that eerie chill that runs down our spines on those sunny Saturday afternoons when the sun is high in the sky, and Linfield is kicking off.

When we lace our cleats up on game day, we all experience many emotions. One emotion that stays constant is the staunch belief that we are going to win. This is not because we are cocky or arrogant people, but we’re confident (especially in our own backyard). The reason we feel this way is because we are surrounded by good people and the preparation to win has been done. On Saturdays, we get the opportunity to go out on the field and be a part of something that’s bigger than we are as individuals. For me, the juices really start to flow when we run out for warm-ups. I know this is going to sound corny, but I get this kind of feeling like the calm before a big storm. Opposing teams come onto our field, and they have these beautifully choreographed warm-ups. They hoot and holler and prance around like they are the Dallas Cowboys. We simply run out and circle up, stretch a little, and then go do things the Linfield way.

There are a lot of things that contribute to our game day atmosphere that are really awesome. The crazy student section, the jumbotron, and the massive sea of purple and red behind the bench in the stands all combine to create an awesome game experience. Also for me, it’s a very nostalgic feeling because my roots are in McMinnville, Oregon. I get to be apart of a tradition that both my grandfather and great grandfather were apart of. I also take a lot of pride in the fact that I can share the same field with some of Linfield’s great players and coaches. I take pride in the fact that I get to be a mere pebble on the great wall that is Linfield football.

When people show up on Saturday, they aren’t looking at bunch of scholarship athletes pursuing a degree that they won’t finish. Nobody is going to go in the first round of the NFL draft or win the Heisman trophy. When people enter the Catdome, they are not just looking at 125 men in purple and white. They are looking at:

-Men that play football for the love of the game
-Men that are on track to graduate
-Men that contribute to society in a positive way
-Men of integrity, good character, and valor

My only regret about playing in the Catdome is that it will eventually end. But when it does, I will get a new opportunity. I will get the opportunity to take the lessons of team work, perseverance, hard work, and unselfishness, which I have learned on the field, and apply them in the “real world”. This will be difficult but anything good is worth the work. The Catdome has taught us all that.

“Go Cats”
-Dan lever #27

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