Friday, December 6, 2013

Varsity Blues Interspersed with Shades of Gray

Today kicks off Championship Weekend for high school football here in the State of Concrete Gardens.  Pretty clever use of the "kicks off" in the lead sentence eh?  You think that sort of literary magic just happens Buckwheat?  Not bloody likely.  'Tis both an art and a craft after all.

By day's end Sunday there will be a ridiculously high number of teams crowned "State Champs".  For reasons I have never completely understood in New Jersey the football teams do not play down to one State Champ per Group, which I believe they do in all other sports.  Thus we end up with several dozen "Sectional State Champions", a sobriquet that strikes at least Yours truly if no one else as being an oxymoron. 

On the Non-Public side of the docket, however they do crown one State Champ per classification.  I can say with some confidence that I do not know a single kid competing in any of this weekend's games, either in the Public or Non-Public bracket.  However, a very nice woman from my office, Tina Shelton, has a son who is playing Saturday afternoon at Met Life Stadium for a title.  He attends Pope John, which will battle St. Joseph's (Montvale) for the Non-Public, Group 3 crown.  While I do not know the young man, I am a big fan of his mom, which is more than enough to have me pulling for the Pope John squad.  Apropos of nothing they probably do not want to know my track record of throwing my support behind a particular person or team.  It ain't pretty. 

There apparently has been a movement afoot her in Joisey to reduce at least to a measurable degree the number of "State Champs" we crown in football.  The most serious opposition to it has come from the Association of Manufacturers of State Championship Jackets.  As you might expect, those bad boys are big business in these parts and no one who has paid for a beach house, bought a top-end Mercedes or put his kid through Harvard hawking those f*cking things has any interest in losing a significant piece of his market.

....what is it they call Alabama again?


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