The season opener for the mighty Blessed Trinity Titans was Friday night. Here they are (above) against the rival St. Pius X somethingorothers. (Lions? Cowardly Lions? I forget …)
Mary Jo and I went, of course, to show some school spirit, to watch Luke do his thing with the BT drumline (he, of course again, mostly ignored us) and — yes — to just be a part of a high school football night.
You know. The skinny freshmen. The seniors who look like they can beat you up. The too-perky screaming cheerleaders. Their ex-cheerleader too-perky moms. The dorky kids and their still-dorky parents. The teachers, many of whom I swear are the same teachers from Caesar Rodney High School, 30+ years ago.
The teachers that are so young I can’t bring myself to call them “Mr.” or “Mrs.” somethingorother.
And, yeah, we went to watch some football, too. Of course. Which is a lot of fun. At least for me.
For Mary Jo and those around me … probably not so much.
It’s a curse of a sportswriter to always analyze games. I’ve seen enough football in my life, covered enough, talked to enough players and coaches, that I have a decent working knowledge of it. I’m no coach, and I don’t cover it now enough to say I’m anything close to an expert.
But I understand. I see a hold and a flag before most. I know a dumb call. Once in a while, I’ll come out with a prediction. (Truth be told, it’s not always right.)
Unfortunately for anyone near enough to hear, I comment on it, too. A lot.
So, to the guy in front of me, an inch into my knees and about three inches from my chin: Sorry I yelled for the punt returner to get back before the St. Pius punter blasted one over his head to the 13 yard line.
Sorry I knocked on the PA announcer for saying, “That had to be a 50- or 60-yard punt, didn’t it?”
Sorry I laughed at the kid writhing around on the ground in a clearly soccer-inspired flop. (Relax, the kid was fine.) Sorry I wondered what the coach was doing — hey, it was the other coach, not ours — having his quarterback throw the ball. Sorry I questioned the early timeouts.
Sorry I corrected the announcer on every wrong mark, sorry I called Too Many Men on The Field before the ref signaled it, sorry I pointed out our upset punter getting reamed by his position coach.
Sorry I was wrong about things those 10 or 12 times. It happens.
Still, it was fun for me. Had a hot dog. Watched the halftime show. Took some pictures. Just sucked in a little Americana, the kind I’ve been taking in since I was in junior high.
We won’t make every game this season, Mary Jo and I. We’re definitely fair-weather fans. But we’ll make it when it’s nice, and we’ll make Homecoming, and we’ll be there, too, for senior night. It’s what we, as parents of a high school kid, do.
Sorry about that, guy in front of me.