OUTDOOR Adventures By Brian G. Schommer August. Some people look at this month as the last hurrah of Summer while those who are lovers of Fall see it as the gateway to their favorite season. …
By Brian G. Schommer
August. Some people look at this month as the last hurrah of Summer while those who are lovers of Fall see it as the gateway to their favorite season. Officially, the first day of Fall is not until Wednesday, September 22nd so, it makes sense to lean more towards the first mindset if you ask me, but nobody did, and we are all free to have our own opinions. If we can take in fresh air and are graced with some Vitamin D provided by the sun, all can be perceived as good, at least for the most part.
It won’t be long until there will be a crispness in the air, the once green corn stalks will begin to turn brown and the sound of cracking shoulder pads during two-a-day football practices will be heard at the local high schools around the area. For many, the change in seasons from Summer to Fall means “Friday Night Lights.” There is something nostalgic about walking into the stadium to cheer for the High School team. The memories differ from one person to the next and yet, most of them bring smiles to our faces. There is just nothing like a Frid… wait… Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday High School Football game.
If you have not heard, the Minnesota State High School League has had to adapt the High School Football schedule mainly due to the lack of officials. Why is there a lack of officials you ask? Maybe you didn’t ask, but here is the main reason. Many fans (not all) are jerks. For those regular readers, here comes another reference to mom. Her belief was that basic and genuine respect for human life has been diminishing for years and like water spiraling down the drain, the final landing place is the sewer system. Disagreeing, even vocally with a call made by an official at any sport is “part” of being a spectator in my opinion. Agree to disagree if you wish, because again, we are all free to have our own opinions. That said, swearing at an official, threatening an official and wishing harm (or worse) to an official is completely unacceptable. Following an official out of a venue after the game is over should be unthinkable.
Some might argue that when they “lose it,” it is because of their passion for their team. As one who applauds loyalty to your school, community and the players on “your” team, there is a line. For example, a kid on “your” team goes out for a pass and when the ball is in the air, a player on the other team grabs a handful of jersey and much to your chagrin, no penalty flag is thrown, and the catch is not made. “Come on ‘Stripes,’ that was interference…” would be an acceptable comment with a bit of explosive volume and passion behind it. “That was (expletives unable to be printed) you piece of (more expletives) and you better watch your back after the game,” would be unacceptable. Sadly, the second example paraphrased has become more common over the last few years and finally, those who chose to be officials have decided to leave the employ of the High School League, thus creating a need for teams like Hastings High School to have three Thursday Night games, a Wednesday night game (standard during MEA) and a Saturday afternoon game. It is what it is and, many agree that “it” is a sad reality of just how far we have gone down the drain.
As someone who admittedly “loses it” from time to time at sporting events, I have never been more aware of the line than I am now. To quote a good friend at a dinner meeting this past week, “we need to start checking our attitudes at the door and be better.” A follow-up statement from another friend at the meeting summed it up. “We need to stop being (expletives).” Again paraphrasing, we need to stop being “posterior orifices.” Summer, Fall or any other season, let us try to be a little better, especially when in the presence of others and Enjoying the Great Outdoors.