I doubt that I'll post any more unless I get some comments, even negative ones.
I'll just go back to my normal rants. They don't get any comments either.
September. School was bustling. Assignments were being handed out , kids were complaining over the unfairness of the projects that they had received, or the amount of time they had to do them. Book reports, class projects, Math assignments, and the usual Cross-country practice: whatever it could be, the kids were getting it. But most important to the kids was the fact that homecoming was nearing. The game was one week from Thursday. Upon investigation, I found that Day Park would be playing arch-rival, and two time champ, Ellers! The Dynamite of Day Park would play the Eagles of Ellers this year. The Eagles had won two consecutive championships, and were undefeated for two straight years. They hadn’t lost this year either. And Day Park had never won a game against the Eagles. Their record against them? 0-33. Maybe this year was the Dynamite’s year.
When I got home that night, I called Karl and Diane. I asked if they planned on seeing the game. Karl said he’d not be able to attend because of a prior engagement. Diane, on the other hand, said she hadn’t known about it. Neither of us was a football fan. But I wanted to go this year. I told Diane if she wanted to come to the game, she’d have to let me know. Student ID was needed to buy a ticket at a reduced price. Or, an adult could show his license to show he was a Day Park resident. But nobody from Ellers would be allowed in, unless someone could sneak in under someone’s Student ID or that visitor would pay full price. And you can bet if anyone knew-- any visitor from Ellers would be hassled something awful.
After a few minutes, Diane declined my offer saying that she just wasn’t a football fan. I would find out the real reason at the game.
It was now football night, the night of homecoming. I watched the game with mild interest, even though football wasn’t my favorite game. Day Park kept the Eagles grounded for the first half. The score was 3-3 at halftime. There wasn’t a lot to cheer about for our team, nor theirs.
In the third quarter the Eagles flew high, scoring 21 points. One touchdown was scored on an interception. One scored on a major blunder by the defense when they allowed a 73 yard run. A fumble by the quarterback in Day Park Territory allowed a quick score for the third touchdown. It was 24-3, and some of the students started to leave. It was quiet, except for the Ellers Cheerleading squad. I looked at our plain cheerleading squad, and compared their technique to the Ellers squad. One girl topped a pyramid and gave a cheer through a megaphone. That voice sounded familiar. I looked more closely. Why, it was Diane! Why didn’t she say she was going to be at the game? She could have just come right out and said “I’m going to be there. I’m on the cheerleading squad.” She didn’t. That puzzled me. Maybe she thought she could remain hidden, or maybe she didn’t want me to distract her.
In the fourth quarter, the Day Park Dynamite exploded for 21 points. Score tied, Eagles with the ball on their own 26, and just two minutes left. Each team had a full allotment of time-outs.
With just a few seconds left, Eagles still had the ball on the Day Park 27. The team was 3rd and 8. Just 6 seconds left on the clock. The Dynamite would have to pray for a miracle. It looked as if the Eagles would remain undefeated. The snap. The kick was Blocked! It was picked up by Day Park, but the guy who grabbed the ball was neither a fast runner, nor sure handed. He dropped the ball. A player from the Eagles grabbed the ball, and the gun sounded. There were no overtimes back then, not during the regular season. While it wasn’t a victory, we had not lost. I worked my way over to the other side of the stadium, where I tried to get Diane’s attention. Some of the students looked at me as if I were a traitor. I couldn’t get Diane’s attention, anyway. She disappeared into the darkened pathway. And I was left, both rejoicing that we had not lost, and yet miserable that Diane had not seen me.
This was the last game of the summer season. I would not see Diane again for some time. And we would go, one last time, to the lake, to close up the cabin for the winter season. And the Ellers football team? Three time champ.