My plans were to be in Cincinnati last night watching high school football as part of the Crosstown Showdown. With the situation with my lab, those plans were derailed. Since Massillon is only a 90 minute drive, and I respect the coaching of Jason Hall, I was a Tiger for the night. I will see them next week against Canton GlenOak. Last night was an "enjoy the game," night.
I sat in the stands, which is almost always a no-no. The stands were full. I mean every type of fan must have walked up the aisle pass me. Some guys looked like they played at Massillon 60 years ago. Red-necks, business professionals, factory workers all came up the aisle. Women of all ages and sizes. Kids(I sat near the student section). College students and former players. Young parents with really young children. Young parents with really old parents. There many Tiger fans on the other side. The place was packed for an opening game with Akron Buchtel.
Orange and black clothing everywhere. Old football jerseys. T-shirts. Golf shirts. Cloth that people must wear just for football. Very little O-State clothing.
The scoreboard now shows individual pictures of the starters as they are introduced. Offense one night; defense the next night. I realize that there are big bucks involved, but the scoreboard is good. Huge pictures of former Massillon coaches on the outside of the stadium. Championship banners on the inside.
A huge tiger balloon held down with ropes was in the background. Of course, a small tiger was on the sideline, in his cage.
Outstanding band, epecially the percussion unit, performed before the game and halftime.
Did not take notes. Left at halftime. Just a relaxing night. I will tell you that Coach Hall has a big tackle (Class of 214) and two corners (Class of 213) that are going to be special. Too early, but I like their freshman kicker, too.
Next week against GlenOak, back on the sidelines, taking notes, and evaluating players on both teams.
Massillon's tradition is much more than I ever dreamed it would be.