Wednesday, September 11, 2013

There is no center

It seems as if politics in particular, and the world in general, is becoming more and more polarized.  I'm not entirely sure, but I think that can be attributed to our world of instantaneous communications and the ability of people to criticize others online without having to worry about dealing with those they criticize face to face.

But that's not what this post is really about.  There are plenty of other blog sites, both religious and political, that you can find to read on that particular topic.

This is about football.

Monday was the start of the middle school season.  These are the games where anything that can go wrong will go wrong.  Games involve players who have never played before; parents who have never watched their kids play football before; coaches who sometimes forget all of the above; and officials who have never been on a field before.  To sum up, it can be quite the experience.

It was at a middle school game where I saw a kickoff go backwards.  It was during a middle school game that I informed a coach that I would penalize him for the parents' unsporstmanlike behavior.  Rookie mistakes abound and tempers easily flare.

It's at middle school games where I work on mechanics, calmly figuring out enforcements for stuff you never see anywhere else, and trying to maintain my Zen Place.

In the last two days, we had all of the above.  Monday's game, however, while stress free, was one of the ugliest games I've been a part of.  Besides just bad, it seemed neither team could count to 11.  We had 9 on 9, 9 on 10, 10 on 11, and more than a few stoppages because someone had 12 players on the field.

But the icing on the cake was when the QB for Team A broke the huddle, came to the line of scrimmage, settled into his position, looked around and then yelled over to his coach, "There's no center!"

Yep . . . everyone lined up correctly -- tight end, wide receivers, tackles, guards -- but there was no center.

Middle school football season is upon us.  Can the apocalypse be far behind?


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