Thursday, October 7, 2010

Football, You Bet!

Here we are in Loonville, Friday evening deep into high school football season! The air is crisp, but not bitingly cold. Nylon jackets will be the order of the night, as we gather at the football field for the kick-off between the Loonville Shawnees and the Podunk Hellions. Arch-arch rivals, districts separated only by county road 600 North, if you are coming from Podunk, or 1600 South if leaving Loonville. Same road either way.

Sometime since then, the mists of memory befogging the details, both communities recognized the political incorrectness of the one moniker and the social inappropriateness of the other. The teams have been redubbed "Hawks" and "Argonauts" respectively. These changes were just wrong on several levels, imho. Loonville is situated full within the stomping grounds of the Shawnees of old. What better way to honor them than by keeping their name alive? Yes, I know the history is not pretty. And as for Podunk calling themselves Hellions, I taught school there for six years, and that is not wrong.

Friday nights are no more intense in Texas than they are in Indiana when two hard-nosed teams harboring grudges and enmity meet on the field of honor. The Shawnees are coached by Jim Laird who for a man of his tender years (he's in his mid-forties) has the highest percentage wins over losses of any coach in the state. Virgil Grimes who coaches Podunk has more wins, but he is but a couple years from casting his bait into a lake in the Ozarks on a daily basis. The rivalry in football, back to the earliest date that both schools fielded football teams, stands at Shawnees 12, Hellions 11, deadlocks 4. Loonville must defend its honor and maintain the edge. Podunk, on the other hand, is riding a 32 game win streak and has only five more to go to set a state record.

There is no need relating the play-by-play, and how Corcoran, with but eight seconds, fourth and seventeen...

So anyway, Podunk is now riding 33, and there is no joy in Loonville.

© 2010 David W. Lacy

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