Monday, October 23, 2006

Football Comings and Goings (Sports and Football)

Another Monday means another round of high school football talk. On Saturday, WGCH was at Cardinal Stadium to see what we thought might be a good game, as Greenwich hosted Bridgeport Central. It’s interesting how the tone of a game can be set so early. In this case, the Cardinals’ Matt Piro intercepted Hilltopper quarterback Jamarl Hardison just after the kickoff and ran the ball back to the Central one yard-line. One play later, Jonathan Myers powered his way into the end zone. Before the benches at Cardinal Stadium were warm, the Greenwich Old-Timers Athletic Association scoreboard read “Home 7, Visitor 0.” Sidenote – I was asked years ago to try to mention the scoreboard name as much as possible. I forgot to do it that first week and got a phone call from a well-placed Greenwich mole who was less than happy with me.

While I’m on that rant, let me please reiterate something – when I’m at a football game, I’m either a spectator or a broadcaster. I’m almost never the public address announcer, and have NOTHING to do with the music being played over the loudspeaker. One unnamed Greenwich parent accused me of being responsible for the loud music coming from the press box. For one thing, Cardinal Stadium was trying out a new sound system that was donated to them by the Cardinal cheerleaders. It’s brand new, so of course there will be some bugs. Despite all the pregame tests (which I was a part of), the only way you will know about the sound levels is to try it once the stadium fills up. By that point, I’m getting the broadcast on the air. Sometimes people at these games crack me up.

I also had the chance to meet the guys from This was their first FCIAC broadcast (they webcast many games in multiple sports throughout the New Haven area). I think they’re trying to break out into other parts of the state. Full disclosure – I hope to join them for some games eventually. I’ve gotta keep food on the table.

Anyway, not long after all of that fun and frivolity, the Cardinals demonstrated why they would remain number one in the FCIAC poll. The Hilltoppers got dominated to the tune of 37-6. The Cardinals now travel to Norwalk to play the Bears, who gave Staples a good scare before falling 34-20. By the way – set your radios/internet connections. The pregame show for Norwalk and Greenwich starts at 1:20 on Saturday.

Onto to The Super Six:

1) Greenwich (6-0, Last Week – 1) – Just takin’ care of business (Bachman Turner Overdrive, 1973). Their road to the FCIAC promise land is not easy, but if things fall right, they will be 9-0 in mid-November. They must not overlook any of those three games (Norwalk, Stamford, or Darien).
2) Staples (6-0, 2) –After using the high wire act to beat Central, they made the home crowd a little nervous as Norwalk gave them a tough time. RJ Marsilio helped ease the nerves with a fourth quarter TD run to break a 20-20 tie. In my mind, only New Canaan can stop them from a date with the Cardinals for the FCIAC title.
3) New Canaan (5-1, 4) – I now believe that the loss to Ridgefield was just one of those things. Admittedly, Stamford was pesky, keeping the outcome in doubt until the Rams recovered the onside kick with 1:55 to play. Dan Neelman is the latest player to look out for: he scored four times against Stamford and has nearly 700 yards rushing for the season. Keep an eye on the Rams in the FCIAC mix.
4) Wilton (4-2, NR) – Wilton had been on my radar since the preseason, and now their time has come. I said last week that a win against St. Joe’s would propel them, and I’m making good on my promise. Back to back wins against Darien and St. Joe’s gives them the nod to move here.
5) Central (4-2, 3) – I’m not ready to drop the Hilltoppers out…yet. They did look like deer in the headlights against Greenwich, but that was due to a tremendous defensive effort, led by Charles Williams and Jonathan Myers and company. Playing Staples and Greenwich in back to back weeks is not easy, and they still have my respect for the way they battled the Wreckers. They can still be 8-2 when all is said and done but have two interesting games against Danbury and McMahon.
6) Brien McMahon (5-1, NR) – I saw the Senators on September 21st and thought they looked dreadful. But they are in the top four of the FCIAC (in terms of record) and that counts for something. They lose points with me because of their strength of schedule, but you have to be doing something right to get to 5-1. They will be intriguing to watch if they can keep it going.

Dropping out: Darien. They can easily jump back in but their 32-0 loss to McMahon was not good. Couple that with a loss to Wilton, and they drop out for now. Also gone is St. Joseph. Again, they can easily jump back on with a win at home against New Canaan. Did I say “New Canaan” and “easy?” No, New Canaan will not be easy for the Cadets (or Hogs, if you wish).

Just missed – Besides the dropouts of Darien and St. Joseph, I really like what Danbury has done. They got whacked by Staples, but fought hard against Greenwich and have won their other games.

Blog notes – Don’t say I didn’t warn you, and I was suitably warned by Tim Parry. As soon as I somebody violated my rules about comments, I would turn off the anonymous option. Congratulations – it happened last week. The same things that were being said to Tim were said to me, with a threat and some racism thrown in to create an unhealthy stew. So that’s that. It’s a shame because all of you were otherwise fun to correspond with, but I just can’t allow that.

Speaking of Tim, I finally got to meet him in person. True to his word, he cam up with T-shirts for the WGCH sports team, and kept sideline reporter Nick Angotto informed of scores. Thanks to the guys at WWPT and WSTC/WNLK for keeping the chain alive. I guess that probably kills my idea of an “Anchorman” style rumble featuring my staff as the Channel 4 News Team (Zach Fisher takes the “Brick” role, by the way), with the WWPT guys as the Public News team, Matt Levine and company at ‘STC/’NLK as the Vince Vaughn-led Channel 9 Evening News Team , the WBLI guys as the Luke Wilson-led Channel 2 News , and the best I could offer the guys is the Spanish language group (led by Ben Stiller, who might have the best line in the segment – “como estan, bitches!”).

Sorry folks, I have too much time on my hands sometimes. You should the things I come up with away from my computer.

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