By Joe Torosian
“We’ll fight’em until Hell freezes over, then we’ll fight’em on ice.”—Dutch Myer, TCU
Right off the Top: How marvelous, how wonderful and my song shall ever be.
I never used to think much of the expression/phrase of “seeing the forest through the trees…” (I think that’s how it goes.)
But as time passes I gain a better appreciation for it.
It might seem ridiculous, but this is what came to me the other day…I love football…Yes, I really like baseball, don’t feel much for basketball and truly enjoy playoff hockey when the Kings are involved…But I love football!
Now before you start thinking, “what’s the big deal?”
Think about this…We get to enjoy football…We get to watch football…And I’ve been very blessed and continue to be blessed that I get to write about football.
You go to an NFL game, and people are there for the show…That’s a general statement…but it covers much of what happens at the professional level. A USC contest at the Coliseum is a different story…A high school game—more accessible—can be/should be/and usually is a very different story.
People who come to a high school football game are invested beyond the purchase of their ticket. They might have a loved one playing. They might have the son of a family friend playing. They might be going to watch their alma mater…They might be going to exchange some trash-talk with someone they’ve encountered in life and on line. They might be going because it’s the place to be on a Friday night.
When you’re some place, like a football game, surrounded by people invested and impassioned it is a great experience…You might even call it, a blessing.
“Oh, that’s insane!”
No, it’s not. It’s only insane when you allow yourself to be affected by those who are perpetually pissed off about anything and everything.
Because sports—I’m talking mainly football—involves our young people committing to something. Something bigger than themselves. Very little of what we do today we requires surrender to something beyond ourselves.
You get to be part of that…We get to be part of that…So why…why are we always upset and complaining?…You don’t like recruiting; you don’t like transfers, you don’t like the head coach, you don’t like the administration, you don’t like CIF, you don’t like Tim Peterson…You hate this f-bombing teacher and that f-bombing teacher…It never ends…I’ve been around for twenty plus years and it never, ever, ends…
But what is finite is the time you get to see these players play. To see and enjoy your sons and daughters. They are here today and off to live life tomorrow…So enjoy it!
Now if you want to complain that it’s too hot to play football in August and that it’s ridiculous the regular season schedule has to be moved up to accommodate the state playoffs…I’m with you.
But we still get to see the game…And even a 57-0, Gladstone victory over Firebaugh is a gift compared to what is going on in the world around us.
This may be the most obvious, simple, elementary column I’ve ever written…But…We get to see football…We get to hang out on the sideline or in the stands…We get to shake hands with old friends…Exchange insults…Laugh, laugh hard and reminisce.
…And laugh and smile some more.
We get to see young men happy. When everybody conservative, liberal, Christian, atheist is preaching the end of the world…we get to see joy in our young people. That is not a cheap thing…It is a blessing.
How marvelous, how wonderful, and my song shall ever be.
I share not just for YOU to enjoy…Not just for YOU to change your way of thinking if indeed it needed to be changed, but as a reminder for me—again—about how blessed I’ve been for the last twenty years of my life.
I wanted to write this a few weeks ago after the SGV Shootout…but held off until I saw a recent round of complaints that looked a lot like complaints from 2012, 2007 and even 2002.
Perpetual complaining means being perpetually unhappy and being perpetually unhappy makes you a drag to be around.
(A reeaaaaaal Munson!)
There was a time where all the walls in my RamCave were covered with dry erase ink and magnets for all the teams and most of the players we were covering. There was a stretch where I had access to nine different Hudl accounts from coaches…I was addicted to game film…I knew the name of the backup quarterback in Morro Bay, the entire starting backfield at 29-Palms and final freshman football standings of the Mission Valley League in 2008…I got angry when I didn’t get my updates from Nipomo and El Rancho…I was so immersed in prep football that watching college football on Saturday seemed like a waste of time…We actually contemplated in the office the possibilities of covering the SIAC! Talk about insanity!
Finally, I had to step back to rediscover the joy I felt for football. I had to take some time and see the forest through the trees.
I hope that makes sense…If not, too bad, it does for me.
I’m never going to be the guy I was before…but I am going to enjoy every minute of this upcoming season…Whether I’m on the sideline watching a game at The Swamp, at El Rock or enjoying a Monsoon down the 605.
We’re blessed…It doesn’t cure cancer, feed the hungry, end terrorism or squash hyper-dispensationalist theology, but High School football is a gift…and I intend to enjoy it before the time comes for me to do something else.
How marvelous, how wonderful, and my song shall ever be.
Midbits (same as ‘Tidbits’)
Midbits: As far as MVS is concerned…Alhambra’s Ron Vrooman can post here any time he wants. I’d give him column space if he would take it.
Midbits: “No such thing as a friendly wager unless it’s with a woman.”—Aram Tolegian
Midbits: On this date in 1976 the ABA merges four teams into the NBA. If you are under 30, can you name the four teams?
***Note*** I sat next to a very arrogant AP writer at a basketball game back in 2001 who butchered this when the question was put to him.
Midbits: Go Mets!
Midbits: The Rams only have two quarterbacks listed on their roster (Jared Goff & Sean Manion). Have they signed anybody else? Because my arm is loose.
The “Los Angeles” Chargers have four listed: Philip Rivers, Kellen Clemens, Eli Jenkins (rookie) and Mike Bercovici (rookie).
The Dude abides…
Contact Joe at email@example.com
Author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” & “The Dead Bug Tales” both available through amazon.com and Barnes & Noble
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
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14 Comments to "Fanview: July 17, 2017"
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@Knightwatch: If love high school football pay your 1o bucks like all of us parents and children for these games. Tired of seeing all these old farts and community leaders “finingling” passes for themselves and friends. Pay up if you love it so much. We parents do and our sons supply the blood.
I’ll take on your trivia question about the four ABA teams that joined the NBA in 1976, since you couldn’t get any millennials to do it. (Please note: No Internet search or reference book was needed for the answer.)
Those four teams were the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York Nets, and San Antonio Spurs.
I’ll admit to having one unfair advantage: I was 20 years old at the time of the merger, and I followed sports pretty closely back then, as I do now.
Of the four teams, I guess you’d have to say that San Antonio has done reasonably well. Indiana has had some good moments, too.
Joe, I’ve been involved in high school football since 1979. I agree with you, nothing better.
Had season tickets to both USC & UCLA, gave them both up too hot too crowded too hard to fight traffic too lazy to get up early on a Saturday.
But high school football will never lose me as a fan. Coached lower level fb for twenty + years and announced for the past 24 years. Attended many games not involving my team during bye week or Thursday/Friday schedules.After our season is over,I try to finagle a CIF pass to attend playoff games all the way to championship games.You’ve probably seen more games than me.but there is no way you love the game more.
Don’t send Your kids to Salesian. That place is the worst Catholic high School around. The whole Football Team checked out of school when the season was over. All the previous coaches that were bringing in studs are gone. The Academics there are also bad.
Excellent column, Joe!
My favorite sports happen to be baseball, because it’s the American pastime, and high school and collegiate football, for the reasons that you eloquently stated.
As for giving me a column here, thanks for the offer, but I’m good for right now. I’m working two jobs and I have a lot of other stuff going on. But, I might consider it when I go into semi-retirement within the next few years.
Also, in reply to one of your “Anonymous” commenters, I wouldn’t write only about Alhambra High; there are a lot of other interesting people and places that deserve coverage, too.
I went on a bit recently because I was trying to address a vacuum of information about the AHS football program, as well as some misconceptions surrounding it.
I’ve always welcomed other perspectives as long as they help to fill in the blanks, because no one knows everything. My main goal is to build interest in the program, and to do it in a factual manner.
During the upcoming season, I’ll concentrate on my usual work, which is to provide stats and any other information that appears to be noteworthy.
If true that salesian is offering on football only scholarships , why won’t CIF send one Rep to attend these camps and all kids and parents should snitch on those coaches and schools who illegally recruit out blatantly without regard for rules
High school football. I rather watch a HS game because kids going all out. Lot of these kids won’t ever step on a football field again after high school over. When my son said he wanted to play I thought sideline player for four years. Garbage time player. But I seen him work his butt off learning the game. I told my wife let him play he on sidelines no playing time he won’t get hurt. First 3 years he hardly played. Senior year became a starter and 1st team defense outside linebacker. He proved me wrong by maturing and learning the game. I would tell him he a story of a kid riding the bench for three years and not quitting and becoming a senior impact player. Now a days lots of parents and kids whine when son don’t get playing time. But it depends on the kids learning the game practicing hard even though he knows he not playing. Some kid star on the field right away and some it takes time. How I miss those football games seeing him make those big hits. In any sport you can reach your goals if u don’t give up.
Great column today JoeT! This goes beyond sports and sees the “forest” of life itself! Take heart my friend, and enjoy the blessings! Thanks for writing! -Steve
@Bottomline.Well said, we should recognize the 80%…Truth be told, 9 (8th grade) players attending a Salesian H.S football camp (6/2017) impressed the coaching staff that they were all offered Scholarships (including transportation) straight from the Archdiocese himself…kids were like” That’s cool, but we’re playing for ROSEMEAD..Got to love the hometown players…thanks again @Bottomline…Archdiocese email on file .
It’s true that more H.S. players stray from their hometowns these days, but it’s a good estimate that at least 80% stay put. We seem to hear a lot about the kids who transfer constantly, but that’s only because the news outlets need sensational stories. I’m saying that I recognize and respect this 80% who stay and represent their hometowns.
Hometown crowds are real. I recall going to a La Mirada opener at home a few seasons ago against a OC D1 powerhouse with a smattering of fans and then leaving and zooming down to a D7 game in front of 10,000 at the Smudgepot.
High school kids represent there home town? Maybe in the 90’s
Joe, you’ve been blessed longer than 20 years!
Football is America’s primary sport, as proven by the money it makes and the amount of time Americans spend enjoying it. High school football is, to me, the most intense version of football, because the players are doing it for free and they’re representing their home town. The collegiate and pro versions are of a higher skill level, but these offerings are diminished by distance and greed. Long live High School football.