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Written by Paul Landis Delaune

     The month of July is one of the hottest months in South Florida.  The high heat and humidity start
in June and no relief from either can be expected until mid- to late October.  For some, itís a
sunshine paradise for outdoor events.  As for myself, having a spinal cord injury prevents my body
from sweating as a means for regulating my body temperature.  Thus, I have to minimize the time I
spend outside.  The heat can be brutal sometimes.

    Regardless of how hot and humid it may be, July is one of my favorite months of the year.  This is
the month NFL training camps open.  I love the Miami Dolphins and pro football.  The opening of
training camps is the prelude to the new season starting.  Football season is a time of a lot of
excitement, whether my teamóthe Dolphinsówin or lose.  Football is the only sport Iím a fan and
itís been a long offseason since the Super Bowl in January.  Iím ready for some football!

    But this is training camp and it has pleasures all its own.  Do you remember when you were a kid
that feeling you would have on Christmas Eve?  Perhaps you get the same feeling on Christmas Eve
as an adult.  This is the feeling I get when training camp opens.  Itís feelings of anticipation, hope,
and excitement.  Football season will be here soon enough and then weíll know which teams are
good and which are bad.  Right now I just want to enjoy the emotions of training camp and
the stories being told.

    The ultimate dream of all NFL football fans is for their team to play well, get into the playoffs and
go to the Super Bowl, and training camp is where that dream is born.  Training camp is very
demanding on the players, but itís also a time for fans to learn about the playersówhere they come
from, about their families and their lives as well as how well they did in college.  Training camp is
when we get to know pro football players as real people.  That isnít always easy nowadays.  The
way many professional athletes get paid million dollar salaries, drive fancy cars and live in big houses
in exclusive neighborhoods, itís easy for ordinary people to feel distant and unappreciative of
professional athletesí success.

    Ah, yes, itís July and training camps are open.  Itís that time of year again.  I almost feel like
a kid again.  When it comes to the Miami Dolphins and pro football, I am like a kid.  Instead of being
glued to the TV set watching cartoons on Saturday mornings, like I did when I was a kid, now
itís Sunday afternoons watching pro football.  Iím a pro football addict and now I can get my ďfix.Ē
Iím so excited!