Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm the Man in the Box

Little known fact: I don't just moonlight as a novelist. I also do play-by-play sports announcing for high school football. All levels—Frosh, JV and Varsity.

I've been doing it since the school opened, and I have to tell you it's a lot more fun now that our football team is a bit better than it used to be. As the immortal Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh said, "I love winnin', man! Know what I'm sayin'? It's like, better than losing?"

What's NOT cool is that the media booth where I do my thing is a metal box without any air conditioning. So it spends all day heating up in the Arizona sun, and then it's nice and sweltering when I get there. It's quickly turbo-gross inside, and then for some bizarre reason, at about 7:15 pm without fail, a plague of tiny flying insects chooses to dive to their deaths on top of my player roster, the scoreboard controller, my scalp, etc.

"DIE, laddie!" I scream as I smoosh them to paste between plays. Once I forgot to turn off the microphone before I did this. It was misinterpreted, and I had to explain to a stadium full of people that I tend to talk to insects as I slay them. Sigh.

Tonight's the first home game, and it's always a good time. The band kids will be excited. The people who sell nachos will be excited. Heck, the people who eat nachos will be excited. And we have this tradition where someone does pushups on a splintery wooden board held up by fans in body paint. Sometimes these pushups are pretty gnarly. When it gets to be a high-scoring game, you have to wonder who can rip off 52 or so and look good doing it.

What I enjoy about high school games are all the reasons people are there. Some aren't there to watch the game at all. Some are way too into the game, shouting at the ref and the coaches and yes, the players for doing something they perceive as "stupid." Some are there to enjoy the atmosphere and people watch, and that's basically what I'm up to in between plays. That, and wishing one of those cold trains of refreshment would suddenly blow through the stadium like you see in the commercials. None of that refreshment would probably make it up to my metal box, but it would be nice to be reminded that refreshment is possible. Oh, and look, Old Spice Body Wash Guy, I don't care how awesome you are, you won't smell that good after spending ten minutes in my booth. You'll probably still look impossibly handsome, though, damn you. *envy*

Heading out now to be the Man in the Box...hope we win!


  1. Ah, Alice in Chains. They were pretty darn good. I saw them in concert in Tucson not long before it all ended.

    Somehow I never went to a high school football game, even though my school was always contending for the state title (at least while I was there).

  2. Was this entire post just an elaborate, entertaining, sweet nostalgia-inducing, and tiny bug-filled way for you to unveil your begrudging admiration for the Old Spice Body Wash guy?

    If so, I say: bravo. And: carry on.

  3. Ah, Hillary. You get me. :)

    The Man in the Box presided over a 49-14 dismantling of the other team. And I got to read promos about cowbells. Because if there's one thing the world needs—besides that Old Spice Body Wash guy—it's MORE COWBELL.