Monday, September 1, 2014

Beat the Clock, Or Beat the Timekeeper

8th grade Lions in action 
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

My lack of knowledge about most sports has been well documented in past blog posts.  Honestly, besides watching an occasional St. Louis Cardinals game or going to Rent One Park for a Southern Illinois Miners game, I don't watch professional sports.  

Play ball
My middle son Mason has been playing baseball since about the time he could throw a ball.  Each summer we travel around the region to watch him play.  This year, he's added football to the mix, so just as I was understanding baseball, I have a whole new game to comprehend.

At his most recent game at home, I was asked by another parent to help run the clock in the press box.  I was very reluctant, confessing immediately that I know NOTHING about football.  I was told not to worry about it, and was given a crash course on when to stop the clock and when to let it run.

More action
 I thought I was doing okay, watching the referees cues and listening closely to the others in the booth.  There were a few complaints, but then at one point I felt like half the stadium wanted my head on a plate.  The funny thing is, it wasn't just the home crowd that was yelling, our opponents were mad too.  I'm still trying to figure that out...

The funniest part to me was in the closing minutes of the game, an older woman (a player's grandmother) stood up and turned around and screamed to the box, "GET SOMEONE ELSE TO RUN THE CLOCK!!!"  I took it all in stride, giving her a thumbs up and saying "thanks for the support.", but with the tinted windows, I seriously doubt she saw me.

I listened to my friends who knew it was me up there laugh about it after the game and other parents grumbling.  I haven't told many people, but I was invited back to do it again when we play at home in two weeks, but for my own personal safety, I've declined the offer.  Who knew folks took 8th grade football so seriously...

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