Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Powder Puff 2011--Thoughts from the Announcer's Booth

   Just to make it clear, Nolan Bidese and I are not at fault for the screwy speaker system. The speakers were as high as they could go (No thanks to you, Angus O’Donnell. This guy shoots me a text at 6:45 telling me to turn it up because no one can hear us. You do not think that Mr. Bidese and I would do everything in our power to be heard? Try moving closer, you dipwad), and Nolan and I were speaking clearly and loudly. We apologize you were not able to hear us, because we believe that we did an excellent job with the play-by-play and color commentary. It was the only place the speakers could be set up, apparently, so it came down to location, location, location. There was nothing we could have done.
   Thus, this article. Enjoy. I am now losing sleep because some lazy schmuck at the speaker company was a little gun-shy with the volume limit.
   The first thing I should say about this game was that it was absolutely a fair win by the seniors. While the overtime rules seemed skimpy, those are the rules, and they were followed to a tee. The penalty on the final play was unquestionable. Maura was creamed. None of this stuff about “Oh, well the scoreboard says 0-0 . . . so . . . uh, I don’t know what to tell you . . .” No. Shut up. Move on. The juniors made a costly mistake, the ball crossed the 50-yard line as a result of this mistake, and the seniors won in accordance to the overtime rules. It was fair and square.
   That is not in any way trying to take credit away from the juniors. They played a great game against a tough team, but in the end they made some extremely untimely mistakes. Maura was caught behind that 50-yard line dead to rights, and a little tug of the flag would have won the game. It is a tough pill to swallow, sure, but in any case, credit where credit is due. 2013 played a good game.
   Rest easy 2012. This is not going to turn into a smooch-fest with our younger associates. Understand that my colleague and I were with you guys every step of the way. Nolan and I explained during the game that unbiased analysis was not what you were going to hear from the (very, very far-off) booth. We are seniors, and in turn, senior fans. If you thought otherwise, well shame on you. The love affair between us in the booth and the “Dirty D” did not delay in its exposure.
   Speaking of the Dirty D, Jesus H Christ they were impressive. Three timely interceptions (two by Maura Kelly and another overtime pick by Kylie “Bank o’ Fear” Bankofier), snatched some much-needed momentum and rhythm away from the junior offense and sent it in the other direction. Ironic that the juniors came out to that music Gatorade used in those totally awesome “League of Clutch” ads (by the way, sweet intros by both teams. I was worried about the senior entrance until the Drowning Pool song came on. It had me pumped after that), because within the game it was the seniors keeping their heads on a swivel (I would say something about a vicious cock-fight here, but somehow I do not think that is very appropriate).
   Now, 2013, never fear your little heads, because you see quite a bit from the booth, and while 2012 might protest, I have some thoughts that you might take with you into next year:

1.       Keep it on the Ground: In Powder Puff, it is tough to throw the ball. Teams with strong, consistent rushing attacks have largely come out on top. Case in point, Rachel Schaeffer single-handedly won the game for the sophomores Tuesday night, and she did this with her legs (I would compare her to one Nick Miller myself). Stephanie “Sapp Tap” Sapp was a good decision at quarterback in the second half, but I personally questioned the downfield passes called in from the sidelines. If you want to pass, those throws to the flat worked out very well. However, keeping it on the ground wears out the opposing defense and gives your own defense some rest.

2.      Misdirection: Remember how great it was when Tess “Nuclear Warfare” McPherson torched you on that reverse for the 30-yard gain? Well, I sure do (Oh, too soon? Za-zing!). It takes a long time for any football team to be able to recognize misdirection in the backfield, and if you can pull it off cleanly you will have eleven clueless-looking juniors watching you score next year (Also, it helps to have an intimidating player grinding it out. Nuclear Warfare is very good at this. That is a compliment, Tess).

3.      For the Love of all that is Good and Holy, Forget the Freaking Whiteboards: A good idea in theory, I can give you that. But it took two guys to carry the thing, and football teams excel on efficiency. Having two members of your coaching staff lugging around an obnoxious whiteboard like a couple of guys from U-Haul is a better idea for practice. Halftime is around five minutes. Think about it.

   The juniors came close to pulling off one of the great upsets in Powder Puff history, but what held them back were some very untimely mistakes and somewhat of a delay in establishing a rhythm on offense (Hey, the Dirty D will do that to you. Did I mention this article would be biased?). I liked the halftime adjustments, and I think 2014 has a huge task ahead of them. As was said Tuesday, all that is left is to iron out the wrinkles (Of course, none of you would know that Nolan and I said anything of the sort. This is just great).
   Of course, the Powder Puff program as a whole needs to make some changes of its own. Most notably: the overtime rules. Someone needs to score, or we are going to get a bunch of whiners pulling that funny-junk up there. I propose an overtime where both teams get the ball on the 10-yard line, and have three downs to score. If one team scores and the other does not, you have a winner. If neither team scores or if they both score, you repeat the process until the first scenario occurs. That is a moaning-proof system for you.
   Also, the announcing booth needs to somehow re-enter the stands. This year, it simply did not work. All of the players could here Mr. Bidese and I loud and clear, but they all know what is going on anyway. The fans are more important, and while I was told that the location we used was the only one possible, we have seen commentary done in the stands before. Maybe it was a planning thing, but either way, there were at least two disappointed people leaving the soccer field that night (Oh wait, forgot about the entire junior class. Double zing! Ok, that was cold. I will stop now).
   By the way, how did we forget to bring out the drum line? Missed opportunities . . .
   Finally, the two MVP awards of the varsity Powder Puff game go to Krissy “Killer K” Kelly of the Class of 2012 and Stephanie “Sapp Tap” Sapp of the Class of 2013. Killer K made some huge plays in the backfield, taking down numerous runs for losses. Sapp emerged as the quarterback for the juniors in the second half, and played a key part in coaxing those offensive gears to turn against the Dirty D. Props to you guys; I wish I had a medal for you. Really.
   Powder Puff this year was an interesting one to say the least. For the record, I still think the right team came out on top. The officiating was solid (I stopped my badgering after learning that one Steve Porianda has been an actual referee. Plus it is pretty hard to argue with Mr. Prelock when he wears his zebra-hat like a thug), the players were intense, and the conclusion, while a little weak due to the weird rules, was exciting. Good game ladies.
   And best nickname? This one was a real tie, between Jill “The Messiah” Littleton and “Paige Against the Machine” Lindgren (Hey juniors, at least you won something! Triple zing! Wow, am I going to lose some readers).

4-0 is 4-0, hater.

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