To say that Coast Union’s football game Friday, Oct. 5, against Bloomington Christian was challenging and anxiety-producing for one-half of the broadcast team would be an understatement of significant proportions.
For starters, this reporter, the play-by-play guy, recklessly accepted Google Maps’ directions and found himself mired in a freeway traffic jam that seemed like a lifetime but was really only an hour.
Upon arrival at Bloomington Christian (six hours after leaving classy Cambria) this reporter faced his next exacting challenge — climbing steep stairs to the roof of a building the school uses as a storage shed, as a roost for their public address announcer, and as a spot for visiting teams’ broadcasting and video staff.
It was only 20 or so feet high but it might as well have been Mt. Everest for a reporter fearful of heights. “It’s important to do this right,” I muttered to myself as I hauled equipment up to the roof, hands shaking, knees knocking, eyes on the prize (providing the radio audience with a competent report).
Way, way down on the patchy, poorly lighted field, head coach Chuck Garcia had his own headaches. He told a reporter that while he doesn’t make a habit of second-guessing officiating, he was frankly surprised at the number of penalties called on his team.
“Over the last 10 games we’ve had 16 penalties for 107 yards. In Friday night’s game in Bloomington, we had 10 penalties for 127 yards (including two on kicks that went out of bounds) — and they had five penalties,” Garcia explained.
“It was a tough environment for the kids. We dropped two touchdown passes, we had a touchdown called back, a lot of things happened to us that don’t normally happen, but our kids stepped up. Regardless of the adversity, we came out with a win,” Garcia continued. “I’m real proud of our team.”
A degree of pride was also achieved by this pilgrim, having safely navigated the never-ending, and always-challenging LA traffic lunacy — and in managing the psychosomatic hardship of high places.
In conclusion, a tip of the cap goes out to the herd of goats munching stubble on the field next to the gridiron. Not once were they flagged for intentional grounding, clipping, holding, or illegal formation.