Football reflections…

by Tom Cole

Most football fans are great, whether we are talking about high school, college or pro. Most football fans understand that football is a game. It is not War. It is not Life and Death. It is not Nuclear Proliferation. Football on Friday, Saturday and Sunday should be enjoyable. It is a form of competition and entertainment. It is a game that teaches hard work, dedication and team work and stick-to-itivness.
But there are some fans that just don’t get it. They spend their Friday nights yelling unkind things to men wearing striped shirts and white pants. The refs in high school sports do a tremendous job. They don’t have five replay cameras to look at. They just make the call. The pay they receive is not much. By the time they gas their cars and get something to eat after the game they are in a negative pay situation. Without these guardians of the game there is no game. We should respect all our high school refs.
Michigan-Penn State
On Saturday night, Oct. 19, there was a tremendous college football game between Michigan and Penn State. In a sold out stadium, Michigan fell behind early, 21-7.
The Michigan quarterback Patterson did a tremendous job bringing his team back. With the score 28-21 Patterson had moved his team down field for two touchdowns and now at the very end of the game marched his Michigan team down the field to try to tie the game up and put it in overtime. On fourth and goal the Michigan QB threw a perfect pass to one of his outstanding receivers, and he dropped the ball. Game over.
It was an incredible college football game played by tremendous players on both sides.
Then I see on social media comments that were really ridiculous about the Michigan performance. The Michigan kids played their hearts out. Penn State did the same. It was truly a great college game. Fans need to remember that college football players are still kids playing a game, many of them 18 to 20 years of age. The vast majority of these young men will never earn a living playing pro football. They really are kids playing a game.
Pro Fans
Now as a fan, if you go to a pro game and you want to yell and scream at players I guess you can.
The best QB in the history of the Detroit Lions, Bobby Layne, won three world championships with the Lions. He used to get booed a lot He used to say “the fans pay for a ticket and I get paid to play. They can boo as much as they want…….They pay me well.”
I do think it is important that fans keep in mind the difference between young kids playing a game they love and professionals playing a game that they get paid very very well to play.

Tom Cole is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Taylor Automotive Family and teaches broadcasting at Saint John’s Jesuit and Adrian College.

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