When asked last week by several folks if I was ready for football, my answer surprised them all: no.
Why? I was fresh off a busy vacation, and when you come back to work and it’s also week one, that makes things pretty busy. In addition to preparing for a broadcast, I also handle things behind the scenes as the Program Director of 93.1 The Fan, so I have to make sure everything is ready for that broadcast, too.
I wasn’t ready for football until 4:00 PM Thursday, when I watched Lima Central Catholic practice, so I could do my pregame interview with coach Scott Palte. When I got there, it made things feel right. It was great to be around football, it was great to be around people that you like and genuinely want to see have a good season.
Following my time on Cable Road, I had to head to open house with my fourth grader. I loved being there with him, but at the same time I was thinking that I need to get home and get to work on things. I have a set up at home where I can get in to work remotely and do things. I did that on Thursday night. I’m extremely grateful to be able to get things done from home, too, so I can still be home with my family.
As Friday morning came, I made my obligatory post on social media about which game I would have and the comment of the year came on my Facebook page when my wife said “see you in April”. I seriously don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long time. It takes a special person to put up with me to begin with and this just further confirmed that I made the right choice over 12 years ago. If I was with someone who didn’t understand what I did for a living, I highly doubt we would be together.
Following an interesting afternoon in the office, it was time to head to the stadium and go to work. It was great to walk in and get set up, chat with the coaches of both teams, and talk shop with my broadcast partner in Doug Parent. Doug and I are in our fifth season together calling football and we almost know what’s coming before it comes out. I have learned a ton from him and I consider it an honor to work with him. He makes me work that much harder.
As for the game itself, LCC struck first on a field goal, then Spencerville countered with a touchdown to take a 7-3 lead. Then the Thunderbirds scored 27 unanswered points to take a 30-7 lead to the locker room. The Bearcats then scored the next fourteen points to cut the lead to 30-21, before Brenden Stolly found Brayden O’Dell on a fourth down touchdown pass to seal a 36-21 Thunderbird final.
Spencerville will rebound and be just fine with Chris Sommers at the helm. As good as a coach Sommers is, he’s a better human being. The Bearcats got down and committed four turnovers, and you can’t do that and expect to win regardless of the team you are. On the flip side, LCC has installed a new offensive approach that seems to fit the team a lot better.
Now that week one has passed, it’s on to week two and for the WBL, that means the start of league play. After the results of this past week, I am intrigued with the league and curious to see how things play out. When you have the top teams (O-G, Wapak, St. Marys) lose in week one and three teams (Shawnee, Bath, Van Wert) that many think will struggle this year get wins in the first week, it makes you wonder just where things lie within the league.
Now that we shift to fall, there’s truly no turning back now. I’ll be doing my thing broadcasting games to the best of my ability, I’ll soon be coaching my son’s flag football team, and starting Thursday night, I’ll be rooting on the Buckeyes and then the Kansas City Chiefs. I’m glad football is here. I’m now looking forward to the grind of the next several months.