Friday, September 28, 2012
Texas High School Football
There is a cheer team and a flags team and a spirit team and a color guard and I'm not sure which one is the group of young ladies wearing sequin-spangled hats and which one throws fake rifles spinning into the air but I know it's not the one wearing overalls hand-painted in school colors because they are the Rock Hawks or the Hawks Rock or some such thing. I learn one marching band needs eight xylophones on the field for the half-time show. I learn that the same inflatable architecture that brought you the bouncy castle can also make a tunnel, complete with fog machine and inflatable bird head and inflatable talons, and it is so distracting you may not notice that an entire football team is crowded behind it waiting to run through and onto the field. I know you can sit close enough that the players on the field look bigger than the players on the jumbotron, and I know that if you pay for season tickets you can sit in real molded-like-chairs-with-back-support-and-everything seating, but if you buy one ticket at a time you'll be sitting in the bleachers next to the marching band. I know "a moment of student expression" is not the introduction to a brief interpretative dance because I learn it is a prayer over the PA system. I know I'm rooting for the girl holding the A to catch up to the H so the kerning is right as they run the length of the field with the flags that spell out H-A-W-K-S. I know that the sun goes down just before game time and everyone is beautiful in the glow and the air is noticeably but pleasantly warm even at the final whistle. I know I should only cheer when it's my team that does something admirable, but I'm so proud when the Rebels finally break through the Hawks defensive line that I stand and I shout and I punch the air. And we are so far ahead that no one comments on my eccentricity. They just wave their fans in the warm night air and wait for the next down.