Football in an oven

I have survived yet another 8-man football All-Star Saturday. I’m glad that comes around only once per year.

What is it going to take to get these coaches to move the games to nighttime? Face it–the vast majority of high school football games are played at night. The only games which are played in the daytime, at least in Kansas are a few high school playoff games on Saturday, the state championship games the Saturday before (8-man) and after (11-man) Thanksgiving, and those games at Weskan High School. Weskan is a microscopic hamlet not too far from the Kansas-Colorado state line on US 40. The stadium in the town does not have lights, meaning home games kick off at 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time. If Weskan somehow hosts a football game, it has to play it at Sharon Springs, the nearest facility with lights.

Even worse, why do the 8-man coaches insist on conducting their All-Star games in the middle of the day in June? Today was downright toasty. Temperatures near 90 (32 Celsius) with high humidity. The dew point was hovering near 70, which is more like it should be in Little Rock at this time of year. As bad as today was, it has been much worse in past years.

Is it going to take someone suffering heatstroke to get these coaches to change? Is it going to take someone dying or suffering severe damage to organs for this to change?

If I were a parent who had a son who was asked to play in this game, I would seriously consider not letting him play to send a message to the 8-man coaches association. They are playing God with lives. It is utterly ridiculous.

I also don’t believe there is the need for two games. One game would do just find. Expand the rosters to 30 players. Of course, by having two games, the 8-man coaches association can rip off more people with their outrageous ticket prices ($12) and contribute to our society’s desire to make everyone feel good and not teach them that disappointment is a part of life and it’s better they learn it now than later.

Yes, I am well aware tickets for the Shrine Bowl, the All-Star game in July, cost more than $12. However, all of the proceeds from the tickets are going to a great cause, Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. The ticket proceeds for the 8-man games could be going back into the coaches’ pockets for all I know.

I don’t have anything against Beloit. There are some wonderful people in Beloit. I love you, Cami Engelbert.

However, I would like to see the game at a larger facility with artificial turf. Newton and Salina, as I’ve mentioned before, are great ideas. So is Hays. If the coaches would like to continue to hold camp in Beloit, that’s fine. Then bus the kids to the game site. And if the coaches insist on two games, play one game Friday at 7:30 and the other Saturday at 7:30 (move it back 30 minutes as a concession to the heat).

Today was a mixed bag. The 8-man games rate somewhere between the ugly (Serena Williams winning the French Open) and the sublime (LSU winning on Chris Sciambra’s home run in the bottom fo the 9th vs. ULL in the first game of the super regional at Baton Rouge). As for American Pharaoh winning the Triple Crown, now those of us between 10 and 43 can now say we witnessed a Triple Crown winner. I was alive for Seattle Slew and Affirmed in 1977 and ’78, but even I couldn’t fathom horse racing at 19 months old.

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on June 6, 2015, in High School Football and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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