The Post Game Show

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Grand Opening, Grand Closing

Well, for the last time yesterday, I sojourned to Alumni Stadium on a lovely autumn afternoon to cover my final Delaware State University football game as sports editor of the Hornet newspaper, and as a freelancer for the Delaware State News (http://www.newszap.com/articles/2005/11/19/dm/central_delaware/sports/dsnspt03.txt).

Mixed emotions are the key to a finale I'd like to believe, but there was no confliction; I'm going to miss these Saturdays, period. I've been blessed for four seasons to cover a team who couldn't beat your best Pop Warner youth leaguers, now a team who was in slight contention for the MEAC title for more than half of the season.

Of course, we beat Howard 23-7, the final record is 7-4, 6-2 in MEAC (good enough for only third place), and unbeaten at home for the first time since 1985. Contrary to popular belief, I was not attending DSU games that far back. Here are some moments that made Saturday's finale worth remembering:

The first half was an outright comedy of errors. Anything you can think of that went wrong in a football game, did go wrong, especially Howard blocking a punt and returning it for a TD to take the lead 7-6 at the break. The Bison had two straight false start penalties and a couple of broken plays that just screamed "we're done, let's just get back to the Mecca and those brilliant beautiful chicks our school has."

Freddie Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks, a smallish senior receiver from St. Petersburg, FL, hadn't sniffed the end zone in his previous three years on the active roster, but scored his second touchdown in two weeks, this time an acrobatic 36 yard catch and run that proved to be the straw that broke HoU's back. It's good to see cats who work hard get their time to shine, even if it is this late in their careers.

The media box crew. It was only three people this week; myself, Kris Pope from the Wilmington News Journal, and Ms. Dawn, the wife of DSU SID Dennis Jones, who provides us food and copies of stats. We had a grand old time up there clowning any and everything we saw fit. And for Ms. Jameil, another "I don't want to hear this from grown folks again in life" moment:

Ms. Dawn: there's something strange about the fact that the Lady Bison mascot has on a skirt...but the male Bison doesn't have on any pants.

Kris: And his Jersey number is 69...

Me: AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH, this conversation is too grown for me! (the biggest lies we tell are the ones we tell ourselves)

The interviews. Coach Lavan was a bit jovial Saturday afternoon, which is different for him, but a welcome sight. His second year on the job and he goes 7-4, I'm sure he would be happy. Meanwhile Kenny Kern, the senior linebacker who transferred from I-A Mississippi State, is an absolutely fun interview. Country as hell, but articulate and actually willing to talk to the media, Kern has been a joy to have around DSU on and off the field.

Finally, reflection. As I heard my alma mater being played, I thought about the football part of my job. I've covered at least 25 DSU football games in my time as sports editor, and the memories will always be getting to the stadium early to clown around with the game day crew, the Mud Bowls we've had (sup, Hampton) and just being around to witness HBCU football, albeit in unorthodox fashion. So, Alumni Stadium, thank you for the fun. Now I guess it's time to focus on my last season of basketball.

*cue the piano outro of "Encore" by Hov*

2 Comments:

  • At 8:25 PM, Blogger jameil1922 said…

    Yeah! Preciate the shout out. But I have three words for you. 11 and 0. Owwwww! How ya like me now???? GO PIRATES!!!

     
  • At 10:44 PM, Blogger Chris said…

    Yeah Yeah, we know, we know. Let's hope y'all win a playoff game for HBCU football's sake.

     

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