Just before we kick a game off the officials meet in the center of the field. We have just finished the toss or in high school the simulated toss (more about that in a sec) and now everyone is ready to go.
We always put our hands together and the Referee will say something to get everyone on the crew ready to work.
Some say things like: "Let’s be the best team on the field!" or "One hundred and ten percent for sixty minutes!" Most of the time I will say something inspiring like: "Show time! Let’s rock and roll!" but then I always finish with "Where do we go?" I guess I just like to keep it fun too.
In high school football, the actual coin toss is held with the coaches when they meet with the officials about 30 minutes before the kickoff. Then at five minutes before the kick the team captains go out and the options are more or less explained to them because it has already been determined. I have no idea why it is done that way. My feelings are the players should be doing the toss like it was intended.
There was a directive from the Mississippi High School Activities Association office in Clinton for this season that all junior high games will follow the rulebook regarding the kicking game.
It’s been 15 years or so since I worked a junior high or seventh, eighth or ninth grade game so I don’t remember doing anything like not punting and just moving the ball 30 or so yards downfield on fourth down.
In youth football, the older 11- and 12-year-olds have the option to punt or just have the ball spotted 30 yards downfield. I’d rather spot the ball downfield in the youth levels and even the seventh grade level because a punt usually presents the biggest opportunity to get someone hurt.
But they have to learn the complete game at some point in time. Some schools were not doing much, if any kicking in their games at all. I was glad to hear the state office had done that.
I do remember working junior high games where all the coach would say was, "Hurry up and get this thing over with. I want to see some game on TV."
Which told me he didn’t give a toot about coaching his team. Not a good way to teach football. And usually, it showed in the team’s performance.
They’re at it again. I’m not surprised but it still just irritates me to hear these people blowing off about who will win a game and exactly why. These so-called and mostly self-appointed experts who host the sports talk radio shows. I have a term I use for them but being a family-oriented paper here I will omit it.
I even heard them trying to say a certain college team has beaten this other team a big percentage of the time over the last several years so that is why they will win the game this time.
Come on, I would have a hard time following that line of thinking even if they kept the exact same players over a 10 year period. Now some of them on the radio shows are okay but then the ones who spend all their two or three hours giving out the point spreads for college and NFL games and then doing commercials for their tip service really get on my nerves.
I have it on very good authority (like the FBI) that calling in a bet to anyone, no matter where they happen to be located, is illegal. Off shore, next door, it doesn’t matter.
It is where the bettor is located. I know not all the people who call in to these shows, even this early, asking what the point spread is on a particular game are not going to put $500 on USC over Virginia Tech or some other game. But a lot of them do.
What’s really funny are the ads for the "tip service" that one might subscribe to for only $1,500.
And that includes the rest of the baseball season too. Then they tout their winning percentages from last season and then say how they made it PROFITABLE for their subscribers.
It’s just a side business, after all. I’m sorry, but it is not. It is very illegal and only holds the door open for organized crime and that is not what we need near football.
If you want to bet on games then go to Vegas. It is legal out there. But the next time you happen to think you have a "lock" on a game and make a call to your book you might want to wonder who else might also be listening in on the conversation. You never know. Because it is illegal.
Sorry I got off on that but I would really rather hear talk about different teams and upcoming games for just the interest in the game and not for gambling purposes. I’ll just have to crank the tunes during certain times when I’m driving and not listen to sports radio.
It’s here. Get out and enjoy some football. And I’ll see you next week.