Nostradamus I’m not.
Yoda I’m not, either, the sentence structure notwithstanding.
My training is in the field of describing what already happened, and the morning of high school football games is a perilous time to commentate.
Sports fans are famously manic-depressive. They evaluate journalists that way, too. Truly I am no better than the most recent words I wrote. Ten years of plaudits can be erased by a phrase that rubbed wrongly.
So here I am, pondering what will happen in Laurens and Union.
Last week I went off to Greer, where the most positive experience was a ribeye at the Lake View Steak House. I try to line up good food as a backup in case the ballgame doesn’t go so well. Sometimes it’s pricey, sometimes not. Laurens High couldn’t keep up with the Yellow Jackets, but the food was great. The same was true in Inman, where Chapman defeated Clinton but I won big on my pregame trip to the Lake Bowen Fish Camp.
Throwing this coverage together keeps me up until the wee-hours telecast of a high school game in Arizona, so it helps to complete the ordeal with contented innards. (That would be a good band name: Monte Dutton and Contented Innards.)
Last week I shuffled off to the truck, a bit glum about what might have been had the Raiders been able to avoid mistakes and be consistent, talked a little about it on the radio and miraculously remembered that I needed to gas up in order to make it home. Word arrived from Clinton that the Red Devils had performed marvelously, and I drove home anticipating what my youthful ward Caleb Gilbert thought of it.
This time I’m off to see the Red Devils in Union, where my most recent visit was memorably wretched. As I motored back home on Barrel Stave Road, one of those shortcuts where I would be more likely to kill a deer than if I had a shotgun, I listened to the local radio team express the view that the Yellow Jackets could have scored a hundred.
This, however, is another year, marked by fear and loathing of sinister germs in the air but not without its redeeming aspects. I can’t actually think of one right now, but sporting events are a refuge against isolation and solitude. I like to go early and mingle with the pleasant folks who stretch chains on the sideline. Chapman has a woman on the down marker, and she’s as much a trailblazer in her time as Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. (Their trail was to the summit of Mount Everest.)