Sunday, April 09, 2006

Dear Charlie:

So last year about this time, I found out that my small city has a semi-pro football team. If I'd been gainfully employed at the time, I'd have gone to every single game. However, I was not, and I had no idea when I would be gainfully employed, so I decided that $5 every week was safer in my pocket.

This year, however, I'd forgotten all about that semi-pro football team until a fellow workmate mentioned that he played on the team. So, I went today.

First off, it was a beautiful day to be outside. Sunny but not hot, a nice cool breeze that didn't knock you over or blow your hair around too bad. Beautiful.

Second, it was only $5 for three hours of entertainment. Can't even get that from a movie ticket, especially not with the nice outside part. And I dunno about you, but I'm already jonesin' for my football fix. This did nicely.

So, the local Crusaders clashed with the visiting Saints. Egads. A holy war on the football field, folks. But in a pinch, I'd pick crusaders over saints. More military strength, I'd think.

That proved the case today, anyway, as my boys in red and silver trounced their bepurpled opponents to the tune of 35 - 16. Don't let that score fool ya -- the Crusaders' first string defense held the hapless Saints to a single field goal.

Now, these are obviously not NFL-caliber professionals. They aren't terribly confident in their passing game, as I'm sure reception statistics would show. I saw an awful lot of dropped balls on both sides. I saw a missed point-after and two missed field goals. However, the Crusaders have an excellent defense and a pretty tight running game.

It was exciting. And it was nice to actually be there, rooting. And it was a helluva lot cheaper than Chiefs tickets, gas to Kansas City, and a couple of Cokes at the stadium.

There are no established traditions, like at Arrowhead, of course. No "that's good for another Kansas City Chiefs...FIRST DOWN!" No "and the hooooome...of the...CHIEFS!!" No KC Wolf dancing in the end zone.

The musical interludes were spotty and a bit abrupt. The game-calling was...adequate, but not much more. Half the time, we had no idea what the penalty was, and the announcer obviously didn't either, if the ominous silence from the booth was any indication. There were a few flubs with the score board regarding yardage and what down we were on.

But keep in mind that most of that stuff is done by volunteers, and most could be solved by a couple of extras, and I'm thinking I might sign up as one. If nothing else, I keep excellent stats and could add a bit of snark and commentary to the game-calling. Heh.

See, even having only seen one game, I saw extreme potential. Detractors of professional football should love semi-pro because these boys are playing for the love. If you think they're making serious money, just take a look at their mended jerseys and their patchy equipment. But they areplaying for love, so they play hard.

Couple of good injuries in there, plus two blocked kicks and some reception tackles that just looked MEATY. Heh. Good times.

And folks like me who don't get much into college ball because it's just not as exciting or as full-stakes as professional ball can really get into rooting for "professionals" while still feeling like we know these guys. It's easy to spot the talent versus the grunts, but that's true in any professional sport.

I enjoyed myself immensely. And while I admit that I'm pretty easy to please, I still see a lot of potential if we could get the crowd a little bigger, get butts in the seats, get folks interested and entertained.

I'm hoping to find some way to help promote these events. I love football, and to have such a close and inexpensive source at hand is just about a dream come true. I hate to think of losing such a potentially profitable and fun resource for this relatively sports-isolated area, so I'm probably gonna stick my nose in and try to drum up some support.

I don't really know why this venue isn't being shouted to the rooftops, other than that the team probably can't afford heavy promotion by TV, radio, or newspaper. However, letters to the editor are still free, so I plan to tap that. Plus, I still have a few friends in the radio business who might be willing to at least come see a game so they can talk about it on air.


Yeah, I'm gonna have to get behind my new boys. If I can't have my Chiefs year-round, I can at least have the Crusaders in part of the off-season, ne? Woo-hoo!

Ideas? Suggestions? Thrown objects?


At 1:49 PM, Blogger Devgel Zo said...

Oi...*scratches head*

Football jargon makes my brain hurt.

But yay for the Crusaders! Its fun to get involved in any team, though the idea of dear, sweet GB with a microphone is both entertaining and scary at the same time. Snark the players to the point of distraction. Heh.

In any case, those who play for love and not money are the only sportsmen I like. The rest are generally posers and have no passion. This is why South African soccer is in trouble. And our cricket players get paid nothing and the rugby okes can't get decent pension.

But hey, at least we've won a few trophies. Can't wait for the Soccer World Cup! Woo hoo! Hey, GB, I'll watch your team! The US has always been a 'special' team but experts say that the US is a dark horse.

And I support a Kentucky Moto GP rider, young Mr Nicky Hayden. He rides for Repsol Honda and is pretty damn good at what he does. Anyone who can keep up with Valentino Rossi is talented. *drools at thought of lovely Italian boy*

And if (no, when) I visit the states again, I'll watch a full football match. In Missouri! I won't understand, but, then again, I didn't understand the details of Formula one and Moto GP until a year ago.

I can learn. And you will make a fine teacher, Geebers!


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