Season 4, Games 3 & 4
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Categories: Football

For last week’s game I sat on the sidelines with Iddo so I got some different photos and didn’t get a feel for the opposing team like I normally do. Iddo had a lot of fun playing in a pile of leaves (until a tiny ant crawled up her pants and she decided that was not comfortable). She clapped for the touchdowns and danced to the band. Unfortunately they had to pull out the mercy rule at the end and kept the clock running the whole 4th quarter just to keep the score from being run up too high by the away team.

Watching the game. Good job! Taking his role very seriously.
Now that's a play to ponder. Almost done.
Nearing a touchdown.

This week’s game was on Thursday night. We weren’t too far into the first quarter when I whispered to Brett that this away team was mean. And they were. The penalties were in the double digits by the end of the game. I heard more swear words from both players and coaches. The coaches were openly making disparaging comments about the home team (so much for good sportsmanship). One player actually thought it was okay to ask a coach at one point if he’d ever gotten into a fight with a ref after a game. What kind of culture does that team have if that’s an appropriate question? And then there was the actual fight that two female spectators got into during the second half as well (which we found out about afterwards when our babysitter told us she’d steered Iddo away from wandering in that direction). The away fans were openly taunting and booed multiple times throughout the game. That, and they couldn’t do math. With the score 7 to 19 and a third touchdown having just been called back, the coach walked the sidelines loudly muttering about how the score should be 7 to 45. I’m not sure how many points he thinks touchdowns are worth or why he thought they could’ve made that many two-point conversions when they’d already blown one and a single-point after kick. But that math just did not add up.

There goes another one. Putting the posts away after the game.

Iddo enjoyed the band at halftime though, really busting some moves to their show. And we got home safe. Hopefully next week’s game goes a lot better not just in terms of score but also in terms of attitude on our side of the field.

Season 4, Game 2 – The longest half-time ever
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Categories: Football

Here are the photos from the first half of this week’s game:

That'll be a first down. Was the point after good? Generally not.

And here are the photos from the second half of the game:

Getting close to a first down. What about this point after?
Fourth down. Game over.

Notice anything?

Just as the band was starting their first song of their show it was announced there was a mandatory evacuation of the stadium due to lightning and everyone needed to head either to their cars or the school gym. The band insisted on finishing their song but didn’t get to the other two they had ready. The band director told me today that they’d originally been given the go-ahead to finish their show but she was watching the band members watch the sky during the first number, in particular the sousaphone player, and they seemed a bit nervous about holding metal instruments in a lightning storm.

We watched the lightning from the parking lot for about half an hour and then the rain came through so we got in the car. At 9:30pm the lightning was still too close to restart the game so they agreed to play the second half 12 hours after the first half ended the next morning. Eleven high-school football games in the area were affected, either shortened or delayed, by thunderstorms Friday night (“Thunderstorms hit Tucson valley,” Arizona Daily Star, 12 September 2014). Only 2 or 3 games were unaffected. It was quite the storm.

The opposing team snapped a 12 game loosing streak despite the most interesting punt we’ve ever seen (“HS football: Rincon/University 34, Palo Verde 12,” Arizona Daily Star, 13 September 2014). The punt lost a yard (not counting bounce) and was recovered by the home team and run back 25 yards for a touch down.

Aside from the lightning delay and the punt, there was something else that stood out to me about the game. As the chain crew we stand on the sidelines with the opposing team. Each game is a new chance for me to observe and analyze a different coaching staff, in particular with regards to all the theories of motivation I’ve studied. I’ve concluded that most football coaches could use a bit more instruction in motivational strategies.

This week’s team was very impressive though.

I only heard swearing twice, and one of them was followed immediately by an “excuse me.” And I don’t think it was because there was a lady present.

There is a box on the sidelines that runs between the 25 yard lines and is about 2 yards or so off the sideline that the players and coaching staff are all supposed to stay inside of. It allows the officials plenty of room to safely work. Most coaches are pretty good at keeping their players in the box, some of the time, but stink about staying in it themselves. This team was constantly reminding the players to back up, but they were reminding them to back up 2 yards inside their box so the coaches still had room to pace and stomp and all that, but still stay in the box. As someone with the potential of being caught between players coming off the field at full speed and players standing on the side, I really appreciated their attempts to give us as much room as possible.

And the coaching staff used every opportunity to help their players be better even though it was the middle of the game and not a practice. A penalty was called on the home team and one of the away players turned to his coach and asked him to explain the penalty. The coach explained what it was and that that was why they taught them to play the position a certain way, to keep from having that penalty called. I was impressed that the player felt safe enough to ask the question in the first place and then that the coach would take the time right then to explain it to him.

So far the away teams have been pretty good with regards to their sideline behavior this season. We’ll see how the team in two weeks does.

Cool Saturday Nights
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Categories: General, Iddo

During the summer the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum stays open late on Saturday nights for their Cool Saturday Night programs. Each Saturday has a different theme to enjoy. Plus there’s the desert sunsets and the cooler temperatures. We went in July for their full moon program and listened to a lounge singer croon “Blue Moon.” And we went in August for their desert harmonies program and heard different small music groups, like a steel drum player and a mariachi trio. It was a lot of fun to spend the night as a family out there. And Iddo loved the different music.

12 July – Full Moon Festival

Little baby hummingbird It's a cactus! Out for an evening stroll.
Caught in the act.
Our little dancer. Yea for family!
Pretty!
Oooh!

16 August – Desert Harmonies

It's a cougar! Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?
Let's go that way. What a night!
Aaah! He's playing a guitaron.

For your Sunday morning edification
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Categories: General

Rex Returns!
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Categories: Football

Season 4 on the chain gang, here we come.

Friday night was our first football game of the season. I’m back on the chain gang this year and we have a young woman from our ward hanging out with Iddo on the track out of danger during the games. Brett is going by Rex again this year. Because I’m on the field there won’t be as many pictures as there were last year. But we’ll still get a few.

Friday’s game ended with a score of 27-0 in favor of the visiting team. One thing that stood out to me though was how different the coaches were for the visiting team this year as compared to when we played them two years ago. I don’t know if they’ve changed coaches or what but they were down right courteous as far as high school football coaches go. Two years ago the coaching staff yelled at us and got a technical for interfering with the chains.

"Rex" and the third member of our crew. Close to the second touch down. Iddo, Dogdog, and the babysitter out of harms way.