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In One Day, I’m Feeling 10 Years Younger


Jan. 1, 1970

You’re never too old to have fun. And with the anticipation of the NFL season just around the corner, I needed my fix of fun. I needed to see some football. The AFL, Arena Football League, would have to do. 

Yes, I went to my first AFL game and, wow, what a surprise it was. I took my whole family. With a 21-year-old and two teenagers I didn’t really know what to expect. They only understand NFL football and NFL rules. I was fielding questions like… Do they wear uniforms? Helmets?…etc. 

On this day, the home team was the Atlantic City Blackjacks. (Atlantic City is a town my kids know well. We’ve gone to “AC” every summer for years.) They threw me one more question, So…where’s the BIG stadium? Quick on my feet, I said, The teams play right on ‘The Boardwalk’. My joke got a laugh… I’m funny after all. Anyway, I survived the lead up. 

Inside the Boardwalk Arena was a spectacle of delight: talented players, fast action and the most entertaining football experience I’ve had in a long time! T-shirts and hotdogs were being thrown into the stands….and I love hotdogs! Hotdogs flying is like a dream come true! 

Then it happened. I unknowingly let my guard down. I cheered loud for the Blackjacks. We caught four t-shirts and my son caught a hotdog. He even gave me a bite, yum.

I cheered. I yelled. I laughed with my kids. I laughed at the other fans going nuts. I was silly, not old and guarded. To make my point, life is hard. But don’t make it harder than it has to be by always being so serious. 

Action Creates Opportunity. Deciding to go all in on the fun was ‘taking action’. It was an easy action to take. The opportunity my action afforded was one of my best days of 2019, an unforgettable memory with my family. Just enjoying my wife and kids. Definitely not too old or too serious to have fun.

That trip to Atlantic City just made me 10 years younger. I can’t wait until next year. GO BLACKJACKS!!

Andre Collins

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Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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