Sunday, January 07, 2007
Luxury and Letdown
It’s Saturday night here in Powell, Wyoming and unlike many Saturday nights during the football season, I’m not driving through the darkness of Montana on the lookout for mule deer in my path following another faraway high school football game. Nope, today’s game was in nearby Roberts, Montana—a mere 90 minute drive from home. The one o’clock kick off allowed my family and I the luxury of arriving home well before darkness fell—even during these shortened days of autumn as they begin to give way to winter.
The excess daylight following the game provided us a short detour to Clark’s Fork Canyon on the way home where a drama of clouds and light were playing over this small component of the Beartooth Mountains. Besides the luxury of daylight, another luxury resulted from the day’s short trip to Roberts—the luxury of thought.
Rather than consumed in high beams and arriving home safely, on this Saturday night my thoughts and cares are elsewhere as I step out into the darkness of my backyard. Looking up to the star-lit sky, I paused to consider the dissappointment that surely lurks in Montana’s smallest towns tonight as I wonder who fell to defeat in the first round of playoffs. Were the young men hanging their heads low in towns like Winifred or maybe kicking the dry dirt in Sunburst? Surely the humbling sting of today’s lost contest is just starting to set in for the players from Culbertson and Bainsville—way up in the northeastern part, where it is a short drive to the border of North Dakota (and not much farther to Canada).
Sooner or later, all but one team from each class goes through this year-end let down. Sometimes I find it hard to believe this sport is so popular knowing how every season plays out.