I could be wrong, but after Furman’s 29-18 victory over North Carolina A&T, Clay Hendrix never once said, “We gotta get better.” I’m sure he believes it, but if he said it, I didn’t use it. He says it a lot, and he means it. Hendrix also, unsurprisingly, means what he says.
Now that we’ve got that cleared up …
I gotta get better. I’ve still gotta step up my game. The competition gets better every week.
On the first night of high school football – I oversee our coverage and contribute to it in Anderson and Laurens counties – I pulled an all-nighter. This greatly pleased me because at my age, I can still do it.
The next two weeks I went to bed at 5. On Saturday, I got up at 9. Four hours sleep? Hah. As long as I’m motivated, I’m good to go.
At Paladin Stadium, I mingled in the parking lot. I trundled over to the stadium with a half hour to spare.
Maybe it was the contrast of a steamy high school sideline to a quiet, professional press box, but I didn’t get the adrenaline shot I needed. I didn’t nod off, nothing like that, but thank God for John Hooper sitting two seats down. I had someone to talk to. All others seemed notably immune to my press-box manner.
Before I left Furman – and it was a lovely game I watched with odd detachment – the first of the glitches – technical, fatigued, mostly self-inflicted – had begun.
Back at my flophouse of a home, information was streaming in as if from the beaches of Normandy.
Presbyterian, in the debut of mad scientist Kevin Kelley, slipped past Saint Andrews, which was probably praying to its namesake, by a tidy score of 84-43. This, understandably, piqued the interest of Danny Barletta and Mitchell Mercer, who were representing the constitutional monarchy on site.
Caleb Gilbert, righthand man Friday and Saturday especially, was filing a set of gorgeous photographs from sun-speckled Paladin Stadium, which I had to use effectively. Danny filed similarly lovely photos from PC and got up this morning to craft a fine column. Mitchell, a PC student, handled the game story with similar aplomb.
To my credit, I went down swinging, but my self-judgment is that I did go down. I made stupid mistakes when I was young, but those were because, comparatively, I was stupid.
I’ve been struggling all today to repent for my sins of fatigue, which, as my high school coach was wont to say, makes cowards of us all.