Monday, October 17, 2011
Parkway at New Bremen 10/14/11...
I was trying to find a reason to come up to New Bremen the other day. Other than seeing my family I really couldn’t think of anything. Most of my friends don’t live there, there isn’t much going on, it’s not a vacation hot spot, etc. So out of nowhere I thought, “Hey, maybe I could go watch a Cardinal game.” Pretty sure I haven’t been there since 2004, right before I left for Tampa. I checked the schedule and noticed they played at home on the 14th against Parkway. I figured, it’s Parkway, probably a game we could win. So I went to the game with my parents, my wife, and Nagel and his wife. Pretty darn entering game to say the least. Bremen ended up losing 41-40 in OT, but the whole experience didn’t disappoint. Some things were the same, and some were different. Allow me to share some of the things that happened. Some thoughts involve the game, some the atmosphere, and some things I noticed about the game as a whole. Either way, when Mrs. Fiser gives you your ticket, Mrs. Newman takes the ticket, and Todd Thieman sells you your candy, you feel like you’re back home. Let me know what you think. Enjoy.
First thing I would like to point out is that there were a lot of good individual plays and players on both teams. Williams, a tight end made a sick one landed, left handed, catch in the corner of the end zone. From where we were we couldn’t see the whole thing but I just saw a hand go up and snatch the ball out of the air. Sweet play. Aaron Clune also made a bunch of big plays. He had two rushing TD’s, a passing TD, an interception, (another nullified by a roughing the passer call), and connected on four of five extra points. If I had a vote for player of the game, he would get it. Another nice play by Bremen was after a pick thrown by their QB. The Parkway player was returning the pick and I noticed a little guy out in front looking for a guy to block. He found a NB lineman and tried to hit him. The Bremen player, I believe number 72, just straight trucked the kid and then made the tackle. The Parkway kid didn’t get up very fast, he’ll think twice before he blocks that kid again.
On the other side, there were some really nice plays by Parkway also. At least two of the TD’s were made on really nice catches. Their backup QB made a few awesome plays. He was improvising, looked like a guy just playing backyard football, making things happen. I’m sure Parkway doesn’t win a lot of games, and maybe they don’t game plan better than the other teams, but I can guarantee you those kids would never say they don’t have fun. They were running shotgun almost every play, running deep patterns, throwing screens, just playing the game with energy. Nice to see actually, not something I’m use to when watching high school games. My favorite thing they did was when Bremen would have the ball in short yardage situations, Parkway would send in these two HUGE kids for the goal line stop. Pretty funny, but you could tell they loved it.
In true high school football fashion however, there were a lot of bonehead plays and immature acts by players. What helped with all the good individual plays was the bad plays that aided them. There was an abundance of missed tackles. With a chance to win the game in regulation the Parkway kicker missed his only extra point of the game. When NB scored first in OT to take the lead, the snapper three hopped the ball to the holder. I understand the pressure these kids feel, I was there once, so I’m not picking on them, but the screw-ups were big. There were also some mental mistakes. My favorite was the Parkway kid who just continuously complained to the refs. At one point he was just talking to the ref and the ref threw a flag on him for unsportsmanlike conduct. How dumb do you have to be to just verbally abuse a ref in the middle of the game and get flagged? Didn’t like the way the NB players threw their helmets on the ground after the game when they lost. I understand that was probably their only chance at a win, but still, keep your cool.
And also in true high school football game fashion, the fans were pretty embarrassing. I’m not a parent so I guess I don’t know the feeling of watching your kids play, but please stop the bitching on every play, begging for calls, complaining about the coaching, etc. It’s really pathetic and childish. I know it’ll never end and it’s part of the high school game but I think it’s getting even worse. And for God’s sake, if you are going to scream at the refs, know the damn rules. Blocking a guy in the backfield is not a clip. Shoveling the ball to the fullback behind the line of scrimmage is a forward pass, it’s legal. Allow me to explain that one. On one play, the Parkway QB was scrambling, he was wrapped up for the sack and while he was going down he shoveled the ball to his fullback, who proceeded to run 40 yards. Great play. But this one guy behind us, who complained on each play, screamed out, “THAT’S A FORWARD LATERAL!!!” Well yes sir, it is, but when you are seven yards behind the line of scrimmage, it’s a good play, not an illegal play. I felt embarrassed for the dude. At least the complaining fans were there though, because when I walked up to the stadium, I thought maybe we were really early or something because the home side couldn’t have been more than 40% full. That’s embarrassing in itself.
And now for my observations on New Bremen’s coach and football program as a whole. Now I don’t know anything about the coach or the athletic department. There may be other issues that I don’t know about, so I’m only saying what I saw. First off, I only could count 39 kids dressed for the game. I don’t remember any team being anywhere near that small. Other than maybe two guys, everyone was the same size, we look like a JV team size wise. Early in the game, there was zero emotion on the sidelines. We would score and only a few kids would even react. Multiple times Nagel and I would point out how many kids weren’t even watching the game and were just having their own conversations on the end of the bench. Kind of ticks me off and I’m not even part of it. Late in the game when Parkway tied the game up the team was “huddling” on the sideline for the kickoff. Well I guess that is what you could call it, really there were like seven guys kind of near each other with the coach talking and two players were actually already out on the field awaiting the kickoff. Just didn’t seem to have any structure. Then when you look at X’s and O’s, there was a whole lot to be desired. For starters NB was up 13 with five minutes to play and had the ball. Never ran the play clock down, threw the ball repeatedly, just bad play calling. It looked even worse because all we did was run the first half it seemed like, and then once we got the lead we just continued to pass, baffling. The dumbest thing the coach did was the timeout at the end of the half. NB had the ball at about midfield, got sacked, clock is running out, players start walking off the field, the announcer announces the halftime score and with about one second to go the coach calls timeout. I mean, for what reason coach? There can’t be any reason other than to just be a dick or to be “tricky.” So the players go back to the sideline, they run some little out pattern pass play and the half ends. Just dumb.
In the end though, I had a good time. It was an entertaining game and I was impressed by the play of some of the players. I’ll probably attend a game sooner than my previous seven year absence in the future.
Til next time….