High school football brings us back to basics
While the NFL squabbles over how many millions the league and their players can rake in and how it gets split up and college football is, well—come to think of it—kind of doing the same thing, this week, football returns in its purest form.
The high school season kicks off Friday (for some, Thursday) and more specifically, Texas high school football.
With a few exceptions, most writers on daily newspapers do not like to cover high school sports. It’s akin to a death sentence. Most cannot get to the college or professional ranks fast enough, which in today’s world means you know how to read a police blotter.
I have covered all three— high school, college and professional—and to choose between the three is a no brainer. Like my mentor George Breazeale, I’ll take high school every time.
The reason—the innocence of it. Ninety-nine per cent of the kids are playing for the fun of it and to represent their school. That’s all.
There are no egomaniacs making millions of dollars a year, yet refuse to sign an autograph for a 10-year old kid.
There are no spoiled brats telling reporters that they don’t make enough money to support their families and not realizing what they just said is an insult to the working man, who is truly trying to support his family and wondering why it costs $400 to take said family to a game.
It’s about kids pulling on that varsity jersey for the first time after waiting for six years, since they were in the seventh grade.
It’s about running through that sign before the first home game and glancing up in the stands and seeing your parents or a girlfriend.
It’s about the battle of the bell between Rockdale and Cameron and if Martin Stroman really did score in the ‘75 game. It’s about the fans, standing around that fence, carrying over that conversations year-after-year.
It’s about Thorndale playing Thrall for 80 years.
It’s about Friday Night Lights and Mojo and Odessa Permian vs. Midland Lee.
It’s about Sherman and Denison playing for the “Battle of the Ax”, the longest running rivalry in the Lone Star State.
It’s about remembering Kenneth Hall, the “Sugarland Express”, who’s rushing and scoring records still stand despite the fact that he played nearly 50 years ago.
It’s about wondering how did Gordon Wood win all those games? He could flat-out coach, that’s how. Friday night misses him.
It’s about generations. It’s about sons wearing the same number as their father did. It’s about daughter’s wearing their father’s letter jacket to school.
It’s about making that big play and having your teammates mob you in the end zone.
It’s about cheerleaders painting signs as big as skyscrapers for teams to run through.
It’s about hearing the school song as the game counts down and you have defeated your opponent.
Finally, it’s about sharing memories that will last a lifetime.
Here are the five best advertising slogans from the golden age of television:
1. “A Little Dab’ll Do Ya.”— Brylcream
2. “My Bologna has a first name, it’s OSCAR. My bologna has a second name it’s MEYER...”—Oscar Meyer Hot Dogs.
3. “Hot dogs, Armour hot dogs, what kind of kids eat Armour hot dogs...”—Armour Hot Dogs.
4. “I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper, wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too.”— Dr. Pepper.”
5. “Where’s The Beef?”— Wendy’s