Monday, September 28, 2009

The Best Seat in the House

Small town football in the heart of America: a Friday evening in late September simply can't be improved upon.
Now I grew up in Class A (or maybe AA or maybe even AAA -- I really have no idea) football country on the right hand side of the country. It was a whole different world. The last time I attended a home town football game was 15 years ago, but I vividly remember the large bleachers lining either side of the stadium. I remember, pre-high school days, the fact that you wanted to get there early so that you didn't have to walk an incredibly long distance across the dark parking lot to get to the stadium. Not so here. We just park next to the field. And throw out a few lawn chairs and call it good. Unless you were in a marching band and had to march to the field on a hot September evening or a cold October one, I don't think you really have much appreciation for this small little nugget of the easy life.
But some things seem to be universal to the world of football. They still take your money to get in (though in this case it is the Physical Education teacher and the English teacher blocking the dusty gravel road access and hitting you up for money --but if you're smart like Danish Cowboy you say "I refereed the Junior High game. Do I really have to pay?" And I say "Yeah. I'm with him.") And the band parents even sell the concessions, in a manner eerily similar to the one in which I was indoctrined as a teenager. But there is no french fry truck on the Visitors side of the field.
I have to love Class C football. Danish Cowboy was head coach for the longest period of time in our little town's history. He loves the game, the philosophy, the intricacies of each play. Where you and I see a harsh tackle, he sees hours of tactical planning. But small town coaching, and Class C football (note: there is no 50 yard line. I repeat, none.) are stories for the future.


  1. That would be class AAA that you grew up with with. Your MT team would be A in PA. Yum, fresh cut french fries! Does your school have a band? And if so, how do they write the drill if there's no 50 yard line??

  2. The field is only 80 yards long, thus the center is at the 40. There are only 8 men playing per team at a time, thus the shorter distance. Our school does have a pep band, but they do not march. But now you have me thinking...with my vast marching band experience, maybe I could become a drill designer and instructor, sending the kids outside on a hot August afternoon, bars of soap in hand, just like the good old days!

  3. Soap? Clearly I don't remember that. Snyder/Templin would be so proud of you if you wrote drill and instructed! 80 yards--never heard of that before. Any particular reason why? Love you! ---amy

  4. Really? No soap? We used it to mark our spots so that we had a target to try and reach. The MASH parking lot was covered with everyone's unique mark. You were probably much better "marchers" in the 80s and didn't have to rely on this crutch.

  5. Haha, now this does take you back. :) Love the differences, can't believe its really only 80 yards and less that legal?