Berserkers appear prominently in a multitude of other sagas and poems.
The earliest surviving reference to the term “berserker” is in Haraldskvæði, a skaldic poem composed by Thórbiörn Hornklofi in the late 9th century in honor of King Harald Fairhair, as ulfheðnar (“men clad in wolf skins”). This translation from the Haraldskvæði saga describes Harald’s berserkers:
I’ll ask of the berserks, you tasters of blood,
Those intrepid heroes, how are they treated,
Those who wade out into battle?
Wolf-skinned they are called. In battle
They bear bloody shields.
Red with blood are their spears when they come to fight.
They form a closed group.
The prince in his wisdom puts trust in such men
Who hack through enemy shields
There is a lot of that poem above that can be translated metaphorically into football. Remember,there is a lot to be said with words… and maybe even more hidden within the spaces between them…I guess what I’m trying to say is read a book.
Berserkers were champion Norse Warriors who are primarily reported in Icelandic literature to have fought in a trance-like fury, a characteristic which later gave rise to the English word berserk. These champions would often go into battle without mail-coats. Berserkers are attested to in numerous Old Norse sources.
This fury, which was called berserkergang, occurred not only in the heat of battle, but also during laborious work. Men who were thus seized performed things which otherwise seemed impossible for human power. This condition is said to have begun with shivering, chattering of the teeth, and chill in the body, and then the face swelled and changed its color. With this was connected a great hot-headedness, which at last gave over into a great rage, under which they howled as wild animals, bit the edge of their shields, and cut down everything they met without discriminating between friend or foe. When this condition ceased, a great dulling of the mind and feebleness followed, which could last for one or several days.
When Viking villages went to war in unison, the berserkers often wore special clothing, for instance furs of a wolf or bear, to indicate that this person was a berserker, and would not be able to tell friend from foe when in rage “berkergang”. In this way, other allied would know to keep their distance.
It’s easy to fall into that football trap. Where you forget about the young men who battle it out in the trenches. They go to war. They are foundation that allows your air and ground attack to move forward…and they almost never get the recognition they deserve, especially as a whole. Sure sometimes one or two are mentioned or highly recruited, but for the most part “being overlooked” is part of the role they are asked to play on a stage in front of thousands.
I recently spoke with Spartanburg Offensive Line Coach Matthew Love. It revealed itself to be much more beneficial to you, the reader, to let the coach tell us about his group rather than me going…”Hey Coach,tell me about your Offensive Line.”
Here is what he had to say: