The quiet before the football storm

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 8, 2001

Editor's note: The following column describes a game which actually took place at Montgomery's Cramton Bowl in A.D. 1939. It was a game in which your correspondent (moi) scored a pair of touchdowns.)

A deathly sentence fell over the dressing room.

The head coach paced up and down the length of the room, saying not one word

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not scowling.

He was expressionless, hands in pockets, with those ice-cold eyes belying his true inner feelings as they withered everything and everybody within focus. About 60 hulking human giants lined the lockers, headgears in hand, scarcely breathing, lest they might cause their leader even further distress.

You see, it was half-time at the homecoming football game and this, the home team, was suffering great mental anguish because at that point they were on the short end of a 17-7 score. A frightening situation, indeed.

The players quaked inwardly, the only true sign of their feeling showing in their tortured eyes and on their haggard, mud-stained faces.

Time ticked relentlessly on despite the immobility of those 60 silent, frozen statues, until all at once one of the game officials shattered the atmosphere with his abrupt announcement that play would resume in precisely two minutes.

The coach's reaction was swift and deft. He snatched a wooden chair standing nearby and splintered it into an uncounted number of pieces, crashing it repeatedly on the concrete floor.

"All right, you sissies," he thundered, "get out there and win this one for Lanier

they won the first half

now it's our turn

get moving

let's see some shake, let's see some pep


The sudden action, combined with the long period of inaction of the coach, seemed to ignite some inner fire in his players. They got out there and played like demons the final 30 minutes of playing time.

The team was like 60 supercharged cyclones, 11 of them at a time devastating the opposition.

As the dust settled over the field after the final whistle, the scoreboard read: HOME 28 – VISITORS 17.

Bedlam ensued and continued into the night.

It was, as most sportswriters are wont to say in their misguided and over-zealous maunderings, "a religious experience."

We'll own, it is wonderful to experience the thrill of victory.

But religious?


The above story, while true, may be likened to the oft-repeated football experience ,like "Win this one for the Gipper."

We adhere strictly to the Gipper illustration, going all out, full-throttle to maintain and upgrade our theories of service and cooperation with all the people in our community.

(Epilogue: Tis the season, already underway for the long haul to the year's end.)