Just got up to Flagstaff for my first look at NFC Champ Camp 2009. First thing that popped into my head was a line from the Pearl Jam song “Corduroy”.
“Everything has changed. Absolutely nothing’s changed.”
The crowds have changed.
I know, I know, I know. You’ve heard all you want to hear about the crowds up here at NFC Champ Camp in Flagstaff. How shockingly large they’ve been. Twelve thousand people for a practice on Saturday.
I thought I had maxed out on the crowd talk as well…….until I got here. It’s still all anyone can talk about.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt is still talking about it. Thinking back to Saturday’s practice, he called it one of the best training camp practices he’s ever seen. Not just with Arizona. Ever.
Plus, he mentioned that in a situation like that, a Saturday practice before a day off, some guys could go half speed. Instead, it was the crowd that pushed them into having the spirited session.
The sense of anticipation has changed. Anticipation for the next practice, the next drill, the next chance to talk with the coach about the state of the team. Everything has been amplified.
But at the same time, nothing’s changed. Fields look the same, so does the dining hall. The routine is the same.
It’s like a shirt hanging in your closet. It’s the same shirt, but when you lose some weight and put on some muscle, it looks a whole lot better when you’re wearing it.