Friday, September 19, 2008

It's Friday

There's not a whole lot on the planned agenda today. We'll shuffle some dry cows around this morning and start cleaning up around the place. This afternoon we'll bale some bermudagrass hay provided it has dried out enough. Of course, we're liable to find ourselves spending lots of time on some type of unforeseen problem.

I hope I can get finished with everything this evening so I can attend THE big event in Lamar County. Or at least the north two-thirds of the county. What could it be? The Sulligent Blue Devils (2-1) travel 10 miles south to Vernon to play the Lamar County HS Bulldogs (3-0) at George Bell Memorial Stadium. Without doing any research, I'm pretty sure that tonight's game will be:
  • about as early in the season as these two rivals have played (it used to always be the last game on the schedule)
  • the first time in a while both teams have been legitimate playoff teams
  • and the first time in a few years that the two teams are back in the same classification and region (Class 2A, Region 7), meaning that the rivalry also has playoff implications for both
"Back in the day", I was a part of three of these games. My sophomore year, we went to Sulligent and won the game on a late kickoff return for a touchdown (I had been absolutely creamed in punt coverage our previous offensive drive). My junior year we dropped a close, ugly one in Vernon. My senior year, it seemed like we outplayed them all night but a steady stream of one-sided, questionable penalties gave Sulligent the victory and ended our season and kept us out of the playoffs. Every one of our big plays had a flag attached that night! Seriously, there was a referee controversy BEFORE the game, and someone from our stands actually rushed the field when it was over and went after the head referee. Luckily, one of our player's father saw what was happening and made a good open-field tackle on the guy just in time to keep the program from being slapped with probation.

Really, if we hadn't made so many mistakes we could have still won despite the perceived officiating bias. Like if our split end had cut inside instead of outside on "Blue 9" stand-pass like he was supposed to I would have laid a clean block instead of being flagged for a block in the back (or maybe I should have pulled up and not blocked the corner in the back). Or if our quarterback hadn't under thrown the ball on "Blue 26 Dump", a play in which I was wide open and even with my blazing 5.0 speed could have taken to the endzone. Oh well, at least I've obviously put it behind me and moved on!

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