I’m going to admit something people might not believe: I don’t like 7-on-7 football.

There, I said it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love football, but 7-on-7 is not real football. It is like watching PGA professionals play miniature golf or NBA superstars competing in 60-second shootouts on the arcade hoops found at Dave and Busters.

It is just too watered down for my liking, but that is not to say it has no purpose because it does.

Skill players get an opportunity to create cohesion, comfort and consistency. Coaches have a chance to introduce new terminology. Defensive backs get to sharpen their instincts, and fans receive a small summer sampling of the sport they crave.

Most importantly, though, it keeps players active during the break between spring training and fall two-a-days.

While the byproducts of playing 7-on-7 football can be beneficial to players in both the short and long term, it just isn’t all that fun to watch.

Essentially, it is comparable to going to the local college and taking in an intramural flag football game. It might be fun to play, but not to watch.

Sure, 7-on-7 football has it moments. I’ll see an occasional catch or interception capable of producing a buzz among the stadium, but that is about it. The rest of the time, I sit there and think to myself, “Gee, I wish they could hit each other.”

I know 7-on-7 has a large fan base and appeals to a number of people, but I’m not one of them.

There are lots of little things I don’t like, such as the lack of hitting, blocking, quarterback pressure, jamming receivers and intensity. Not to mention, there is practically nothing on the line unless teams are shooting for state 7-on-7 titles, which few truly are.

But the major reason I don’t like 7-on-7 football is because it whets my appetite and then leaves me craving more like an addict in an alleyway.

I love football and would schedule it all year around if I could. The void between seasons is long enough without being tortured by watching kids participate in a shell of the sport.

I’ve never been a fan of movie previews that air months before the red-carpet release, and I don’t like looking at my presents under the Christmas tree before its time to unwrap them.

Despite all the positives 7-on-7 is responsible for, to me, it is a cruel joke. It taunts me with its resemblance of real football before it leaves me wanting more with almost two months to go before the clichéd Friday night lights come on – the final two moths of an approximately nine month drought, nonetheless. It’s like encountering a giant hill while running the homestretch of a marathon.

I can respect 7-on-7 football for what it is, and I see the value it holds, but watching it personally rates somewhere between getting a traffic ticket and shopping for home insurance. That is not a knock on the athletes or their efforts, it is just that 7-on-7 is a hollow, time-killing activity.

I mean, I’m a reporter, but during my vacations, I don’t sit around and write insignificant stories of in an effort to further hone my skills. And I certainly wouldn’t expect anybody to want to read them if I did.

To each is own, and I am certain there are lots of people right now who believe I’ve lost my marbles because I simply can’t enjoy 7-on-7 football. Unfortunately, I can’t and don’t foresee anything changing my mind.

Well, on second thought, I might be able to become a fan if it added helmets, pads, full contact, offensive and defensive lines, kickers, running backs, a 100-yard field and was conducted under UIL regulations.

Until then, I’m just going avoid 7-on-7 football whenever possible and patiently wait for August to roll around.

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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