First Posted: 11/9/2009
Imagine if you will that it is Friday night. It is the final week of the regular season for high school football.
The stands are packed on both the home and the visiting sides. The smell of hot dogs and popcorn are drifting from the concessions stands. The cheerleaders are in position on the track getting ready to help cheer their team to a victory. The band is already in the stands ready to do the same. The football teams are on the field running through drills one final time. The teams head off the field for one final pep talk before kick off.
For both teams, this game is important. For the home team, a win would mean a definite shot at the playoffs. For the visiting team, a win would mean a guaranteed home game for the first playoff game.
Then, the moment arrives. The announcer welcomes both teams to the field amid a raucous chorus of cheers and boos. The players run onto the field and head to the sidelines, chest bumping and hitting each other on the helmets. They are pumped up.
The team captains gather along the sidelines before making the trek to the 50-yard line for the coin toss.
Thats when people first begin to notice that something is not quite right. There is an ominous void at mid-field. A void traditionally filled by the black and white striped shirts of the officiating crew.
Can you imagine the panic as it spreads? The coaches are scanning every corner of the field for those tell-tale zebra stripes. The crowd begins to sense that first notion that something is wrong.
Then, the truth of the matter hits. There are no officials to be found.
This is exactly what happened Friday evening to my high school football team when it hit the road for its final regular season game.
Whether the signals got crossed or someone simply forgot to schedule the officials for the game we will probably never know. But, one thing is certain, there were no officials at the game.
After an hour of waiting, the game was postponed to Saturday evening. This would not have been such a big concern except for the fact that some of the players were scheduled to take the SAT Saturday morning.
When I found this out, my mom and I joked about the situation, saying that some assistant to an assistant would be getting an earful for the faux pas. I even said that I could see the home teams coach on the way to the game thinking to himself, I feel like I forgot something. Man, I wonder what I forgot. Oh well.
In all honesty, however, the question has to be raised. Why did it take so long to figure out that there were no officials at the game to begin with? Arent their uniforms designed so that they can stick out? It seems that their absence should have been realized much sooner than the coin toss to start the game.
So, to you area coaches who are playoff bound, I have this one simple piece of advice look for the officials as soon as possible.
There is no telling what the postponement of a playoff game can do to the mindset of the athletes once they are already pumped up and ready to play.
Morgan Wall is a staff reporter for The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at [email protected] or 719-1929.