Monday, September 21, 2009

Bethlehem's Steel Curtain

Are you ready for some football? Steelers football? No, I'm not talking about those candy asses in Pittsburgh. I'm talking about real football from the nearly 300 spirited kids and cheerleaders known and feared as the Bethlehem Steelers. When they man the field in their dreaded black uniforms and begin chanting their war cries, ambulances and hospitals everywhere are put on red alert.

The Steelers are actually just one of seventeen, equally fierce, teams participating locally in the Suburban Youth Football League. It draws kids from Parkland to Saucon Valley and Emmaus. Despite my hype, the real powerhouse is traditionally North Parkland. It's packed with juvenile delinquents, convicted felons and ringers from Mongolia who guzzle Budweiser during water breaks. Some say Michael Vick played there last year.

But last year, North Parkland was crushed by the 90 lb. Steelers' team. It had a perfect record, winning most games by 20 or more points. Those boys, and their coaches, have all moved on to the next level, where they are once again terrorizing the league.

All but my grandson, Dat.

He's very proud that he now tips the scales at a hefty 72 lb. (with pads), and is joined this year by the kids who played in the 80 lb. division last year. They're scrappy, but lost every game. This year looked like a repeat performance. Upper Macungie's Mustangs broke them in the season opener, 13-7. In their second game, South Parkland's Trojans prevailed in overtime.

This weekend, these 80-turned-90 pounders finally shed their curse as a team that always snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. Power running back Justin Schmoyer, who always hovers near the upper weight limit, beefed up the line, and the Steelers' luck changed. In the first half, he opened up a gaping hole that Dat Lambert exploited for a sixty yard touchdown. Once he got through the line, Dat was able to elude defenders and ran like hell for the end zone, and fortunately in the right direction.

In the second half, Schmoyer opened another hole for Joshua Clark, who himself scampered another sixty yards down the sideline for a second touchdown. In addition, Lambert and Clark had some long gains that were called back because of holding.

Final score? 12-0. After the game, the two Bethlehem teams congratulated each other, were hugged by moms and ate cupcakes and an increasingly popular Puerto Rican meat pastry called patellias(sp?). My grandson may now weigh 72 1/2 lb.

But before trying on another championship jacket, there are plenty of tough teams standing in the way. Next weekend, the Steelers face the 3-0 North Parkland Powerhouse.

Blogger's Note: The photos used here come with the kind consent of Jeff Kaboly Photography, who told me my blog sucks while I worked the chain gang. I speared him.

33 comments:

ironpigpen said...

Now this is important stuff. Where is the mainstream media on this - asleep at the wheel, as usual!

That is Dat's first career TD, is it not?

Is that Dat in the top picture on his way to a long run? (the 60-yard TD?).

Hopefully, he handed the ball to the referee casually in-tune with the Joe Paterno/Penn State philosophy of "act like you have been there before so this is no big deal, you do this all the time AND that you plan to be back - real soon."

These Steelers reports should be mandated weekly.

This is the exactly the sort of predictable chaos that ensues when blogs are not forced to be in compliance with strict government regulation.

ironpigpen said...

Planning for next week vs North Parkland Powerhouse:

One of these Steeler players must have a super cute sister roughly the same age as the North Parkland kids.

Do the reverse of the Marcia hustle from the old Brady Bunch Show. Swipe the NP playbook!

Just hope NP doesn't get wise and put out a phony book to counter the intelligence operation, like Greg Brady did.

Advice - The prettier the girl, the less likely the NP boys will catch on to what is happening, or even care if they actually do!

:)

Bernie O'Hare said...

That is Dat in the top picture and it is on his way to the 60 yd TD. He scored several times last year, but this is his first one this year. His first score was when he was tackled in the end zone last year, scoring 2 points for the other team.

ironpigpen said...

That was a good anecdote -

"Congratulations, you finally scored."

Anonymous said...

Great post Bernie, always enjoy reading about the kids! And I agree w/ Ironpigpen - mandatory once a week reports.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

more youth sports!!! there's a purity about what the kids do (note i said kids and not coaches) that is very liberating to watch.

Anonymous said...

I'm disarmed by cool stories like this one. I'd appreciate updates, and enjoy your writing style. Just don't kink the links on the chains, Bernie. They used to call 'em "home field measurements" back in the day.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Our chain has been broken for two years. if you tug too har, it breaks away and the person on the other end will march off about 30 yards before we know what is going on.

Anonymous said...

What about the new yard markers in NCAA? Those goofy looking orange arrow mats that they throw on the sidelines while the chain gang obscurely stands recessed several feet. Guess too many of them were getting knocked over by players. In your case getting nailed by 80 pounders would probably not be an issue!

Bernie O'Hare said...

It would be for them!

Anonymous said...

This is an enjoyable break from ohares usual rants.

While you call him grandson the good thing for him is there is no genetic connection to you. Hopefully that means he stays a great athlete and won't have to worry about becoming a miserble old man.

Bernie O'Hare said...

True. What would even be worse would be if he turned into an anonymous coward who gets his jollies by posting snarks in a post about kids. What a little person you are.

Anonymous said...
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Bernie O'Hare said...

Just deleted a Villa slur. This is why people will never rally to his cause. He thinks nothing of stepping all over a post about my grandson, or a Donovan post about a tragedy in his family, to pursue his own agenda.

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Anonymous said...

YoVille anyone? I need crew members.

Anonymous said...

This post is being removed by a blog contributor in order to save ohare the trouble.

Brian said...

Youth organizations like the Steelers deserve recognition. These places are run and funded by volunteers and parents. It looks like a class organization with a good website, and they should be commended for their efforts more often. More of the valley youth teams should look like this on and off the field. Thanks for the post Bernie, I enjoyed it.

My son plays for Fullerton and we scrimmaged NP this year. They are a solid team, well coached and they've got some athletic kids. Good luck to the Steelers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Brian, My grandson lives pretty close to Fullerton, which is a great orgaization. Maybe he'll face your son or play with him some day.

Anonymous said...

What a brave lion-hearted hero you are ANONYMOUS 5:19

Hammer O'Hare in a political article he wrote if that is your will.

EVERYONE agrees the youth football stuff is for fun.

You're hitting way out of bounds and way late, not to mention intentionally targeting the knees, cheap shot artist.

Bad karma for you, bonehead.

Pick a "grown-ups" article and go to town.

Or expect to have beer tossed on you (if not other things) as you make your way to the LOSER's locker room after this youth football game report.

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