Sunday, September 24, 2006

Drive-By Fans

Pirates Warm Up
Originally uploaded by mdt1960.
There are football fields all over the country set in locations conducive to feedback from cars and trucks that drive by in close proximity to these special gridirons. Specifically, the Montana football fields of Lima, Drummond and Reed Point lie directly adjacent and below the speeding interstate traffic that pass right by the games, and also offer the interstate travellers a brief glance of the action on the field below. Often I wonder if these fleeting spectators realize they are watching an eight-man or six-man contest or do they only have time to recognize that it is simply a football game.

Inevitably and most outstanding are the semi-trucks that blast their loud horns as they scream down the asphalt. One can only guess that they are doing this to cheer on whichever team has the momentum of the crowd or perhaps it's only an approving signal of the game of football in general. Often you can hear their tires rolling over the jutter bars signaling that they are indeed watching the game rather than the road.

Reed Point Lights
Originally uploaded by mdt1960.

The timing is not always perfect when someone blows their horn in a drive-by, but on occasion, there will be that one wailing blast that comes at the perfect moment as in the night I watched from a hillside overlooking Interstate 90 and the six-man game between Reed Point and Augusta. As the Augusta ball carrier crossed over the interstate-flanked goal line and the official raised his arms to signal the score, a gleeming 18-wheeler streaked by the gridiron with the horn blaring away—adding the perfect accent to the celebrating visitors from Augusta.

Regardless of the timing, such moments are unquestionably Americana.


Jim Jorgensen said...

hi Morgan,

Enjoyed the piece "home on the range" in Referee. I began officiating football with the MOA in Bozeman in 1969. Did eight man games at Gardiner & West Yellowstone. Game fee for crew of three was $7.50, got $10.50 in travel money for Gardiner. Saw elk, deer nearby the field. What fond memories were kindled by the photographs!

Anonymous said...

Love that Reed Point field.... I am saddened that I have yet to have a chance to see a game as I was driving by it.