how about adding this tidbit to the question......is it possible.......
Sunday Special: 42-year-old man trying to make CFL
By David Hughes
TERRE HAUTE â€?
If youâ€™re going to dream, you might as well dream big.
That was Jim Davisâ€™ attitude last week as the Lewis resident prepared to try out for the Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League today at Indiana State Universityâ€™s Memorial Stadium.
By the way, Davis is no spring chicken. Heâ€™s 42 years of age, never played college football and played only one season of organized football. That was in 2005 when he played fullback, safety and special teams for the Evansville Vipers semi-pro team.
To say heâ€™s a longshot to make the Renegades and become the CFLâ€™s oldest rookie ever might be putting it mildly.
But donâ€™t tell that to Davis.
â€œHis heartâ€™s in it,â€? Vipers Coach Tony Bass told the Tribune-Star. â€œThe average age on our team was 23 or 24. But for the time he was with us, he was impressive. He taught a lot of guys to never give up on their dreams.â€?
â€œI was looking for a [professional] team that would be willing to let me make a statement for us â€˜old-school playersâ€™ â€? that 40 years old is not too old to follow your dreams,â€? explained Davis.
Davis works as a monitoring technician at Newport Chemical Depot, offensive coordinator for the North Central Junior High School football team, physical conditioning director for North Central High School and, most importantly to him, pastor at First Christian Church in Shelburn.
Davis is married and has three sons ages 14, 13 and 10, all aspiring to be high school football players. After serving 10 years in the Marines, he earned a bachelor of science degree in bible and religion and master of science degrees in business leadership and clinical counseling, all from Southern Christian University in Montgomery, Ala.
â€œMy vision of what [making a pro team at age 42] would do for the older athletes in this country, as well as the high school kids who are told that they have no shot in ever making a team after high school, would be very strong,â€? Davis emphasized.
Although Davis lacks football game experience, the 6-foot, 205-pound former U.S. Marine is in excellent physical condition. He said he can bench-press 420 pounds and run a 4.47-second 40-yard dash.
Davis already attended one of the Renegadesâ€™ tryouts at Jacksonville, Fla., last month and was informed by scout Hal Dyer that they may want to give him a shot as an outside linebacker.
â€œWe donâ€™t care about a personâ€™s age,â€? Dyer said on his cell phone Friday while driving to another Renegade tryout slated for Saturday at Columbus, Ohio. â€œWe only care if a person can play footballâ€¦ Weâ€™re open minded.â€?
Dyer estimated that the usual age range for athletes attending a CFL tryout is 23-28. Bass said heâ€™ll be bringing about 10 Evansville-based players from the Vipers â€? mostly in that age range â€? to the Renegadesâ€™ tryout today in Terre Haute.
â€œUsually, we get people who have finished their college eligibility or we get people who have gone to [preseason] camp with an NFL team and got cut,â€? Dyer noted. â€œWe get a lot of people from semi-pro and indoor arena-type teams.â€?
Dyer has been conducting pro tryouts for more than 10 years. He said heâ€™s already signed 10 tryout players from various locations for the Renegadesâ€™ 2006 preseason camp in May and he would like to sign 16-18 more in the next few weeks.
Ottawa finished third in the four-team CFL Eastern Division with a 7-11 record in 2005, so Dyer said improvements are needed.
â€œA year ago [while working for the Calgary Stampeders], we had the Rookie of the Year receiver [originally discovered at a tryout],â€? Dyer mentioned. â€œA guy [who impresses scouts during a tryout] may not get called now. But we form depth charts. Down the road, if one of our players is not performing the way we expected or he gets injured, we go to our next-best list.â€?
That list includes names of athletes who impressed during open tryouts, such as todayâ€™s at Memorial Stadium where athletes will be asked to run the 40, perform the short shuttle and go through other football-related drills.
When asked about Davis, Dyer said he advised him to improve his speed and flexibility a little more.
Dyer wouldnâ€™t say whether Davis has a good chance of being invited to the Renegadesâ€™ camp, adding that he keeps a positive attitude toward all potential players.
â€œI think they were surprised, because of my age,â€? Davis assessed. â€œHe [Dyer] wanted me to work more on my footspeed. So Iâ€™ve been playing racquetball and doing a lot of sprinting to improve my footwork.â€?
Regardless of whether Davis is on Ottawaâ€™s preseason opening-day roster June 3 when it squares off against the Montreal Alouettes at Halifax, heâ€™ll be glad he made the effort.
â€œI really want to show people it doesnâ€™t matter what circumstances youâ€™re up against,â€? he said. â€œIf you want something bad enough and if you work hard enough at it, your dream is possible.â€?
Registration for todayâ€™s open tryouts at Memorial Stadium will begin at 8 a.m. Drills may last as late as 6 p.m., depending on the number of athletes who register.
Registrants must bring all types of shoes needed for sprints and football drills. A registration fee of $90 cash is required, even for those who have attended previous Ottawa tryouts.