As I walked across the new-fangled turf at J.W. Babb Stadium, I thought about how I wished I had football games to cover every Thursday and Friday night.
At 2 a.m., back home, after too much coffee for late at night, I wasn’t quite as convinced. I’m always keyed up for hours after ballgames. I watched an hour of a truly horrible movie – Joe Namath and Ann-Margret in C.C. Ryder & Company – before I finally went to sleep by counting footballs tumbling end over end through uprights.
I was up at 8:30 to fix more coffee and listen to Clinton High’s morning-after radio show. I called Chris Liner because COVID-19 restrictions made it impossible to interview him after his Greenwood team’s 35-7 victory over Laurens. The circumstances of the game – Liner coached the Raiders for the previous 6 years – cried out for a few words from him in the game story.
So off the season goes. Laurens is 0-1. Clinton is 1-0. Laurens Academy is 3-2, having blazed football’s trail alone since Aug. 28. The Crusaders are the deans of county football this year.
I’m still optimistic. It’s just that I’m tired.
All three county teams play at home this week. Greenville visits Laurens. Broome visits Clinton. Richard Winn visits Laurens Academy. The long-range forecast predicts a 3 a.m. cessation of touch-typing, photo processing, numbers perusal and interview transcribing.
The best money I’ve spent recently was on a big, floppy, waterproof hemp hat. A cap is no good on a football sideline because, in order to turn the camera sideways for a vertical shot, I have to turn the cap backwards, and I’m not fond of a ballcap on backwards. With the new hat, if the front is tipped down, it makes me Indiana Jones, and with it pushed up, I’m Gomer Pyle.
Only one Indiana Jones movie has been released during the lifetime of the kids now playing high school football. Gomer Pyle might as well be Mickey Rooney.
Move it! Move it! Move it!
I’ve gotten old enough that about every stadium has memories in it. Clinton won its first modern state championship over Hanahan at J.W. Babb Stadium. I call 1972 modern. My first sportswriting job was in Greenwood during J.W. “Pinky” Babb’s final season as head coach.
I also remember when Pebbles and Bam-Bam were growing up in Bedrock.