I don’t remember my first time watching football. It’s just something that has always been there, part of our family routine, and because it’s been such a big part of my entire life, over the years, I’ve heard a lot of discussion about how the battle will be won in the trenches, how to stop someone’s ground attack, or air attack.

If necessary, there might be a long bomb or two, but perhaps, sending the troops in on the blitz will keep the enemy out of the red zone.

Truth is I’ve adopted these terms and others as football terms and not their true meanings.

For example, the term, “trench warfare” dates back to World War I in which troops used as shelter from enemy fire.

I strongly believe the offensive linemen are the most underrated positions in football, maybe in all of sports, but what they do in the trenches doesn’t compare to what our men and women in uniform do for us in the real trenches.

While growing up and watching football, I thought of the athletes who take the field on Sundays as heroes but as I’ve gotten older, as much as I admire their athleticism and abilities, what they accomplish on the football field doesn’t hold a candle to what the troops do on the battlefield.

I’m completely OK with using war terms to describe sports but I think it’s important to see those terms simply as metaphors when referring to the game and use them as a reminder of what our troops have gone through in the past, the sacrifices they’re making now and will continue to make in the future.

Let’s not be mad at the game or people who use these terms to describe what’s happening on the field. Instead, let’s allow football to serve as a reminder as to who the real heroes are and that we should be thankful for our veterans every day, not just once a year.

Perhaps when we hear of the battle in the trenches, we should think about and be grateful for the soldiers in the real trenches, or when we hear about a blitz, be thankful for the brave men and women who break as quickly as they can to the opposition’s line.

When it comes to football, like other sports, there’s a lot of changing teams, whether it’s through trades or free agency but when it comes to our troops, they’re only wearing the uniform of one team – Team USA.

All this stuff also applies to those who have ever served and will serve as police officers, firefighters, EMS and other emergency personnel and first responders.

We are and will forever remain in debt to you.

Happy Veterans Day.