Sunday, September 23, 2012
The answer to the question the old man asked on Friday night... "is their varsity team as bad as these guys?"
Geoff had to suit up for the game again, even though he won't ever play on this Varsity team.
Doug and I were both getting things done at home, so I decided that at about what would be halftime we should head over and see what the haps were.
We got there and it was 14-13, them. It ended up 33-20 us.
With 8 minutes left in the final quarter, one of their players got fighty. Our punt had gone out of bounds, and this kid turned around and punched the punter and shoved him. Everyone was looking DOWN the field to where the ball was so the vast majority of the crowd, team and refs missed it, but I saw it. I yelled something like "hey, what the heck was that!" and the dad behind me, who had seen it too, said "someone's getting angry that he's losing... this is gonna get ugly."
Our player who got hit turned around and pushed him back so they started punching, and there was a near bench clearing melee. The refs only saw our kid push, so he got flagged, and they got broken up. While the refs were trying to make sense of the situation, the first kid from the other team went and started pounding on someone else from our team, and screaming obscenities at our coach in his face.
It took a while to get the guys all sorted out, and the coaches and the refs were all trying to talk through what the penalties would be and this kid was still on the field, pacing, yelling, swearing... Eventually the ref threw him out of the game.
I have never in my life booed another team's kid, or cheered for someone getting thrown out of a non-pro game, but I did this time.
The thing that made me mad the most was no one on their coaching staff approached him to try and talk to him and cool him down after he got thrown out. He stomped around and kept freaking out on their sideline. I wanted to go over to their coaching staff and say "hey, coach, manage your player. Talk to this kid. He needs you right now."
It was shameful.
After those shenanigans, playing was a lot meaner, harder, faster, tougher. I saw some of the biggest hits I've ever seen in high school football. I was thankful my son wasn't out there. He'd be eaten alive. One of our guys hit one of theirs so hard that all you heard was this CRASH of the shoulder pads... and he walked away as if he had bumped into some one in the hallway.
Everyone in the stands gasped... the other guy got up, he wasn't hurt, but it was probably the hardest non-pro hit I've ever seen.
Geoff was incredibly happy after the game. Can't say as I blame him. "Revenge!" he said.
I talked to Geoff's coach after this game and asked him what happened with the other team and the freshmen. He was visibly angry about that situation. "That was cheap, they're just such a cheap team. They played their JV squad the whole first half and then in the second half I heard them call out the freshmen to the backfield. They were laughing at us. And they KNEW coming into this game, they KNEW because we discussed it, that we are a freshman team and this is all 9th graders except for Geoff. But they sent out their 11th and 10th graders, and they kicked our asses and thought it was funny. And they're going to hear from our athletics director and from the league on Monday."
I told him that whatever they did on the 20 minute ride home, whatever pep talk they gave the boys seemed to work because they came off the bus laughing like that and he smiled. We had a long talk about how crappy that was, and how it doesn't matter, it doesn't count, and then we talked about all the things they did right. And they all expressed how pissed they were, how bummed out they were. He said Geoff showed some exceptional support and leadership skills in this discussion and he was just amazingly proud of him.
He shook his head and said "How lucky am I to be coaching these kids who are 0-3. They're the best."
Posted by Christine G. at 1:34 PM