I have not spent my time watching many sports, except those of the Olympics. I admire athletes for their dedication and determination and learned the “bare necessities” of sports language when I was a young wannabe-reporter in Memphis, Tennessee.
I was learning photojournalism, where we had twin lens cameras. You would look down at the top of the camera and you could see what ever you pointed at, except your head was down. When you clicked the shot, it was the lower lens that took the picture. The camera was large and heavy.
I had to have a picture of a sports event for a grade on Monday sooooooo… I went to the Memphis State football game with a press pass. I knew not to go on the field, but it was November and I had on a parka with a hood. I had to get the Friday night shot because I would be developing it in the darkroom all of Saturday. The wind was blowing and cold, and the fans were screaming for a touchdown. I was in the end zone and trying to figure out who had the ball. We did not have drones to show it all to you in those days.
I thought I saw the guys running on the other side of the field and kept my head down to shadow the lens, when there was a slight noise coming from my left, and as I turned two of the incredible hulks on the field were chasing one another—and coming for… me. I snapped the lens shut and cuddled that school-borrowed camera like it was a new baby. Then they hit me. It was dark on the ground and grassy. Then a hand reached down and pulled me up into the air.
Another gentleman, perhaps a “nose guard,” whacked me on the butt and my parka hood fell down. “Oh, boy, we hit a girl.” They made room for me to pass. I was so embarrassed. And the shot I got was sideways.
After that, the professor of journalism issued me a 35 mm camera on Monday and told me to go and take a photo of the swimming class I was taking. How insulting, although I did get some great water shots. Ahhh, I was all wet. And that is why this Mouse writes without photos.
To get back to football, our grandson, Robert, is on the junior varsity team at Eldorado, so I have gotten real about football. Believe it or not, there is a sort of magic to going to a real game. There is a chill in the air, and you had better be wearing coats, gloves and sweaters, preferably in the school colors. Take along blankets. Bring money, not only to get into the game, but to buy nachos with goopy yellow “cheese,” a hot dog that is lukewarm on a fluffy white bun and lots of little packs of ketchup, mustard and relish. Drinks go from water to pop. It is a trip back in time and you should not miss it. They don’t have big screen TV, but the board is large enough to read who has the ball, because once again, that is a problem for me.
They line up and it is over in a flash. Robert’s Eagles had a great kicker who sent the ball way over the goal posts. In high school, teams are not one size. You get tall and skinny, or wide receivers who can run, young men with heart if not height. They wrap up the players and drag them all over the field. Of course, my inner grandma is showing: I think the best of all is Robert. And let’s not forget the cheerleaders, they were terrific. Eldorado had 24 and the Cibola Bears had 14. The Eldorado girls even lifted their partners up in the air like a human pyramid and still waved their pom poms. It got so cold the Bears put on long pants. I wish the Eagles had done that. I was cold, but they are young; they did not shiver.
With that said, not all games have happy endings, and Eldorado lost, but it was a fair game of heartfelt competition and true sportsmanship. A good time was had by all.
I have practiced football-watching on TV. We watched University of Michigan beat Nebraska, Texas A&M defeat Alabama, Iowa take Penn State, and Nortre Dame overcome Virginia Tech. The only thing I question is after they make a touchdown, they whack one another on the head or chest—their own team does it. I do not approve. Roaring Mouse, buying a helmet for next weekend. Out.