We have a high school senior this year, and during last night’s play-off game, I had some time to reflect on attending these last four years of high school football. Here are a few things I learned, things that never mattered during my high school days, things that I realized, but couldn’t state or make sense of as a teenager.
- Sitting in the UNI Dome is much better than watching outdoor games. I used to think the atmosphere was nice in the UNI Dome, but took away from the liveliness that you get when outdoors. I still believe this. But without the teenage energy I had in the student section, I am now a pansy. My cold weather tolerance is small now, despite the thermal socks and Hot Chillys. Webcasts. live tweets, and radio broadcasts are just fine for me when the weather is cold. If you are a school and can manage webcasts, tweets, or radio broadcasts, DO IT NOW AND FANS WILL THANK YOU. [However, I have also been in a nice corporate box for an Iowa game, and that is the perfect combo — outdoors, yet sheltered, with the ambient fan sounds and breeze and outdoor smells, and WARMTH at your disposal.]
- Your senior year is a once in a lifetime BIG DEAL. If you are fortunate enough to enjoy the company of your classmates and culture of your school, you should participate as much as you can, to make as many memories as possible. You might not see your classmates again. You may never attend another football game. You will be an adult with few responsibilities for many many years (the rest of your life). Spend your youth being a kid.
- A state governing body over high school athletics is something I see as necessary, but some of its controls seem ridiculous. Besides this one bullet point, I’m staying out of this arena and submitting to its dictatorship. I have no sway anyway. But if you are a person of influence, talk to me.
- School spirit contributes to morale of families in the community as much as it does to the players. Pride, apathy, insert attitude here, can be driven by anyone and influence an entire mass of others. Choose wisely, folks. You are influencing everyone around you whether you realize it or not.