Monday, November 07, 2011

Bethlehem Steelers Send Bulldogs to the Pound

Last Saturday's snowstorm delayed the clash between the 125-pound Bethlehem Township Bulldogs (5-3) and Bethlehem Steelers (7-1). The winner would advance against teams like Saucon Valley or Parkland, but this game would determine bragging rights in Bethlehem.

They faced each other just two weeks before, when the Steelers visited Bethlehem Township's North Municipal Park. In a game dominated by Bulldog errors, the Steelers came out on top, 18-8, in a game that was more lopsided than the score indicated.

On Saturday, the Steelers hosted the Bulldogs. Although the final score was identical to their first battle, this was a much closer game. In fact, it was scoreless the first half, with neither team able to move the ball, as winds swirled around the Monocacy complex. But in the second half, the Steelers exploded. The offensive line opened up hole after hole, and RB Damian Diaz (#4) smashed through them, scoring twice.

Coaches from other weight groups usually do the chain gang during playoff games. Somebody must have screwed up because they asked for volunteers before Saturday's game. On the very first play of the game, I managed to break the chain, causing a delay until a Bulldogs' coach came through with some athletic tape.

My grandson (#1) was injured when he tried to make a tackle near the end of the game, and was kicked in his chest. Fortunately, he just had the wind knocked out of him, and was only out a play. It took all my will to remain on the sidelines. It's a good thing his mom had to miss the game, or she would have run out there.

The Bulldogs lost the game, but the coaches and kids were terrific. My head is still ringing from all the yelling that goes on in a football game, but they were all class acts.


Anonymous said...

'All the yelling'

Ha ha!

I bet your grandson, and the overwhelming majority of kids who have any bit of experience playing don't hear 'all the yelling' when they are out on the field.

They are too focused on trying to do what they are supposed to be doing.

Any youth coach worth his salt has a team talk before the season even begins and basically says, "Never listen to anybody except me or another coach during a game. About anything, ever. End of story, now let's start practice."

When I was in college, our coach used to pay kids walking by the practice field to stop and "harass" players. To prepare us for what we will encounter on the road in less-than-friendly stadiums (which do exist). Coach would tell them the name of your girlfriend, all kinds of stuff.

Then, people you have never seen before come up to you on campus later and say they are sorry for the bad-mouthing but $ 20 is a lot of money to a poor college kid!

'All the yelling' is all part of the deal.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I still need earplugs.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

"I still need earplugs"

Ha ha.

Truth be told, my Mom was left feeling a bit disappointed by the partianship / behavior in the stands on occasion(s).

She told me back in the day when she went to games, she tried very hard to remain anonymous (of course, in direct contrast to me, she has great diplomatic skill).

People would ask her what team she is rooting for or which one is her son, etc., and she would smile and say something like, "Oh, you all seem like such nice people that I'd rather not say. I don't want to find out if we are all not on the same side because I wouldn't want anyone thinking we are 'enemies' sitting here together because that would just not be the case, even if my son were on the other team."

"I always just wanted him to be cultured and play the violin but that did not work out," was her big joke line that, I am told, always went over very well.

The funny thing is, my Mom never did come to very many games ... more often than not, by complete chance, she WAS sitting with the 'wrong' crowd!

The reason she did not come to very many games was simple --- she was always terrified that she would, someday, be stuck watching her rather skinny son get run over once and for all and then summarily carted off to the cemetery in a hearse!

"Meanwhile," she once said, "YOU seem to play with complete and utter reckless abandon and, therefore, do me absolutely no favors. Now, the coaches have explained to me that your position practically demands this for success --- but it is still far more than my poor heart can afford ... From now on, I only attend important playoff games!"

I will laugh long and hard if Dat's mom ever adopts a similar policy.


These youth sports posts ARE great stuff --- for so many different people and on so many different levels, I have every reason to believe.

The videos are definitely the icing on the cake.

All hail the Bakery.