Spartamen.com is about the kids, the players. It's about fostering and appreciating the greatness that resides in our children, the players. It's about helping to show them how truly awesome they are and how much joy, excitement and pride they help create when they play - and how much happier we, the parents, are when they play as good as they can together as a team. It's about keeping the bar high, and hopefully raising it a notch.
Moreover, this site is about helping our growing players really understand that achievement through hard work, dedication, practice at getting better and better, and teamwork is unshakeably rewarding. It's so much better than just being given stuff and random participation awards. We don't reward mediocrity here. It's greatness that counts. Around here, it's greatness that the coaches and players create. And the glory that comes with it.
"Chicks dig scars. Pain heals. But glory...lasts forever." (From the movie The Replacements)
Watch the movie. Listen to what's said after the final game. You'll understand why when you hear it. Anyway...
This site seems to have a sort of... trickle- or ripple-effect. The players see at least some of their moments of greatness (and sometimes not-so-greatness) set to some music. They take a little more pride in playing even better, so they tend to try a little harder. Everyone trying a little harder makes the team that much better. That's one aspect.
We've got a pretty long history of greatness here in Delhi Pee Wee Football and hopefully we can all help keep the standards high. They were set by the founders, Chris Maney, Phil Neumann, and John Hamilton and raised periodically.
When our first two kids/players started in Pee Wee Football in 2010, there was a pretty great guy before me who took pictures all season long, put the good pics together on a CD for each player, then passed out the CD to everyone at the Pizza Party. That guy was Mike Brannigan, an up-the-road neighbor. You might know him. His kids were and are great athletes, and men in general. (Something about Jersey Road, I guess, since the Reed's and the Ingram's are all here with us, too!)
Anyway, this site is also here to help maintain the memories for the players.
It also helps the coaches who look at the videos from the viewpoint of a coach. Something can always be made better, or sometimes they're just as good as they can be - it's awesome to watch.
NOTE TO COACHES: There's a great resource online - for free from Coach Steve Tucker - to get awesome at coaching. https://www.football-tutorials.com. There are lots of articles with football drills and even how to put together practices! Blog about Football Drills.
And it's for the parents of the players, who love to see their kids kicking butt and doing well in the game. It makes the sacrifices we have to make justified, easier.
I'm not normally a photographer, but I take some pretty good pictures. I'm not normally a videographer, but I make some pretty neat game videos that some folks enjoy. That really means that while I'm taking pictures, I'm a photographer. When I'm shooting and putting together video, I'm a videographer. That's regardless of what else I do in life.
The impact on the community is not as small as I thought it would be: Maybe some kids trying harder in practices so they can play better in the games and hopefully I catch the great plays they make. Nope, it's more than that.
The evolution of Spartamen.com over the past three seasons has been pretty neat. You can see the changes in the different seasons. More parents commenting on how they like the videos, more players pushing harder all the time, all that and more practice has pushed me to make better videos so there's more enjoyment. The earlier videos are quite plain with no slow motion. Yikes. Luckily, software and computers get better and let me do more.
Coaches have said they use the videos to see things they missed during the game and more. So I've done what I can to make the videos better because it benefits everyone.
The better I do, the more people benefit. Especially the kids. This feedback loop always comes back around to the players, our kids. It's the coaches continually teaching on the field, practice and games - full circle.
Between every play the really good coaches are talking to players, continually teaching and high-fiving for a great play. They're correcting form or improper technique in blocking and tackling, reminding of proper form and technique, and always helping the players improve throughout the entire season.
The coaches and players understand that when you're on a team, everything becomes about the team, not to the exclusion of the individual, but the team comes first. (Like, we actually didn't go to a family wedding that we *really* wanted to attend because it would have interfered with a game.)
Team first. Hey, it's only for three months out of the year, if that. The rest of the year is training to gain additional skills and abilities which help the next year. 🙂
Sponsors can see what the teams are doing, how they're doing, and they're more proud to sponsor the team again. Without the sponsors and other business assistance, Delhi Football Parents would have to do a LOT more fundraising and/or donating to pay for the myriad expenses of such an activity.
There's DNBD, the Delaware National Bank of Delhi, the sponsor of the Bulldogs. They're the third oldest (and highest rated locally) bank in the state!
There's The Clark Companies, the real sponsor of the Jets. They do work around the nation, by the way, and they're an amazing company with strong leaders and dedicated staff.
The American Legion helps immensely by providing a place to practice, to store the equipment and uniforms, and it used to be the place we'd have our annual pizza party. Maybe again, someday.
O'Connor Hospital sometimes helps us make it by matching our fundraising efforts up to something like $5,000. And it's not even like we send a lot of business their way during the season! I don't know of any hospital anywhere that does more for the local community. We're lucky to have them here.
There might be other sponsors that I don't know about. (Probably are.) Every major sponsor is big enough that they might not be a sponsor if the Delhi Pee Wee Football program wasn't so well-respected and a good representative team to support.
The bar is just that high where they're proud to help out and connect to Delhi Pee Wee Football because the positioning and PR are very good.
Other teams know that Delhi is the team to beat. They always bring their A-Game when they're playing Delhi. Always. Wanna know why?
It's because for over a quarter century, since the inception of the teams in Delhi, we've usually had the best coaching. The previous year's remnants remain to strengthen (or weaken) this year's team. There's always carry over.
Certainly we want to think that our kids are just that much better, or that we parents are just that much better, but the truth is that it's the coaching.
That's been the secret of the Delhi mystique, the air of invicibility overlying our teams. Sometimes, yes, certainly, if there's an imbalance of "superstar" players, the team with a few more than all others will win, but not always. Chris, Phil - they made the difference many seasons with their superior coaching.
There's no doubt that our kids are awesome, and we are, too. That's just a given, right? 🙂
Look, we've been to a few games on off or offset weekends. Nobody plays the other team as hard as when they play Delhi. Even the parents from other teams save their (sometimes obnoxious) hooting and hollering for the Delhi Games - and that's really an honor we should accept more happily despite how it seems at the time. It's freaky surreal, those other games. Mostly quiet. Even on the bigger plays.
I noticed it a few years ago when there was rarely any big, loud cheering at the other field (in Oneonta). All the really loud noise was coming from OUR game! Was it all the time? In the two more times there were two games at once going on, yes, that was true.
We're the standard to beat. Delhi Pee Wee Football is heart of the League. What do you say we keep it that way? Eh?
I'm the guy who shoots the videos at the games, then weeds through what I just shot, and then spends the next 10 hours or so putting the clips together to music (the copyright stuff is handled by YouTube, btw, which is why you might see ads on the videos - fair trade off I'd say) and uploading the videos.
Me? There's not a lot to know about me, but if you're into being bored senseless, here goes...
I'm a daddy, a researcher, an economist and more. I earned my PhD back in 2000 from the London School of Economics. I've got more sheepskin, too, but I don't use any of that, either. 🙂 I do work online when I'm not homeschooling or training any of our 8 awesome children. I research, continually, about cancer and heart attack recovery (had at least 4 heart attacks before I was 42, and cancer back in '98).
I spent 4 years in the US Army, Infantry. While I was in, I was part of the 1987 USAREUR Champion Rifle Team, attained the rank of E-5 (Sergeant), and got out on a medical discharge after I broke my back in July, 1988. ETSed June, 1989.
The videos I create for this site help create a better future for our community. Our kids get to see just how amazingly we see them, how wonderful they are, and how they make us feel: Proud. We see them busting their behinds to do well, upholding the standards that have become our Pee Wee Football tradition.