Taking Emily and Joe to inspection last night, there were groups of people at every drive and intersection along the long, long route to school. They jumped and cheered and waved homemade signs at passing autos, exhorting the team to victory and its fans to cheer loudly. The enthusiasm made me smile and wave back. There was no such joy from the rest of the car.
We passed police cars staged along the route. I remembered the newspaper said the team would be given a police escort the several miles from the school to the freeway. The band and team busses would not leave for another ninety minutes, but quite a crowd was assembling. I thought how nice the whole send off would be.
The game was televised on a very local television station and at half time Jan and I tuned in to watch the band perform. They are very good. The home team led by ten or fifteen points.
Toward the end of the third quarter I wandered by again and Jan spun the dial. The boys in blue and white were up by far more than twenty points. I called my son-in-law and simply said there was little chance of a loss, so we needed to discuss options. He asked for the inspection time Saturday and calculated what time they would leave Cincinnati to arrive on time.
The stony face that came through the door at midnight confirmed the probable victory. Miss Emily avoided me so completely I finally asked her to stand still while I delivered my news. She went to bed without a word, and I stifled a grin.
I had an email this morning from the chief band parents, explaining the great victory and providing a link to a written form to request absence from next Saturday’s game. It can be turned in only on Monday; any later and the absence would be unexcused. That did make me smile. I wonder how many will not perform.
These footballers are two victories from a divisional state championship. There’s a lot of skin in this, including the grandma who drove two band members to practice or games three times a week. Let’s all cheer the team, and the band that plays at half time in their support. They've gone a long way.