Friday, November 9, 2007

Football Playoff Fun

Today, some great fun......attending a high school play-off football game, the state semi-final, at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa. Husband and I hurried to finish up barn chores in order to leave in time to make the late morning kick-off. We often comment on how fortunate we are to live fairly close to the site of the state play-offs......many teams and fans must drive several hours to get to the Dome.

Our community has been blessed-----if you want to call it that-----with much success on the football field over the years. I attribute most of that success to the coaching; we have three coaches with over 30 years of experience apiece. They have developed a winning formula and never seem to lose their intensity. The community has soaked up the glow of victory, and seems to will it to happen year after year. Today, our team was up against bigger guys and stronger ball-runners, but somehow, with risky passes and gutsy plays, we came out on top. Of course, for our team, that also means another week of practice in the cold weather to prepare for next week's state championship game.

I always say it doesn't matter to me whether we win or lose, but there I was today, hands clenched nervously and whispering a prayer that our team would make it into the endzone for that last-second, winning touchdown. As if God would take sides in a high-school football game! Its easy to get caught up in the emotions of the crowd and the moment.

Our son, being a sophomore, doesn't see much varsity action, but he goes in on special teams. We tell him to try to enjoy the whole experience......the great majority of players in the state never even get the chance to stand on the sidelines as part of a squad that's in the state tournament.

Here's a little tale of something goofy that happened last year when Husband and I attended this same semi-final game: It was a morning game, just like today's was. Husband and I got to the UNI-Dome and bought our tickets and walked over to the ticket-takers. I had a small purse with me and the ticket guy, a sporty college jock type, said he had to look in it. I handed the purse over, thinking they were checking for weapons or something. He peered in and then took out a couple tiny boxes of Hot Tamales candy that I had thrown in to snack on. He said, "You can't bring food in here." I said, "What?" That's just a little bit of candy!" "No, you can't bring food in", he repeated.

I suddenly felt completely ticked off......he was treating me like I had a purse full of hamburgers, or a casserole! I looked at Husband and he, suddenly morphing into the ticket guy's buddy, said to me, "You can't bring food into the Dome." I gaped at him, trying to figure out if he really was my husband. I turned to the ticket guy and gave him a piece of my mind, saying, "I probably would have spent money at your concession stand, but now after this incident, I certainly will not! Enjoy the Hot Tamales!" And then I stalked off to find a seat, and didn't speak to Husband for awhile, who was snickering in amusement at the whole thing. Sheesh.

Today, I was more intelligently prepared with my contraband was stuffed into my jeans pockets. I had considered bringing a large purse full of sanitary pads for the ticket guys to search through. That would have been a hoot!

Go, Team, Go!!

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