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Monday, May 2, 2016

Struck Strikes Out: A finger in the referees' dike

Monday, October 15, 2007

(Photo)
In all my years of doing this stuff, I've never experienced what happened at the Cherokee Braves football game at Orange City Unity Christian Friday night Oct. 5.

The Class 2A, District 1 encounter was scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. at the lovely Korver Field on the lovely Northwestern College campus in lovely, Dutch, Orange City.

Somebody please pass me an almond pastry, a chunk of ring bologna, the morning newspaper's coupons, the Book of Devotions, and schedule coffee time.

If you haven't heard, the game didn't begin until 8:45 p.m. because somebody at Unity Christian obviously didn't verify the fact that game officials would be present. The Iowa High School Athletic Association really frowns on IHSAA-sanctioned football games played without referees.

At any rate, the forgiving among us must overlook the fact that we are in the age of instant, communication gratification via the Internet, lap-tops, e-mails, cell phones, satellite TV, CB radios, smoke signals, and rocks with rubber-banded notes thrown through bay windows.

Is it unreasonable to think that Orange City Unity Christian would communicate beforehand in some manner with the scheduled officials to ensure they would be there for the game?

Obviously not.

As a result, both Cherokee and Unity Christian fans, players, coaches, bus drivers, ticket takers, and concessionaires were forced to spend one hell of a long time twiddling their thumbs Friday night while some red-faced school official did some serious fretting over not properly doing his/her job.

Available game officials were then frantically summoned from near and far to comprise a make-up five-member team, one hour and 45 minutes after the scheduled kick-off time.

With this in mind, I've created a Top 10 list of the possible reasons Unity Christian did not have game officials at Friday's football game.

(10) The 1:45 delay gave the Christian Reform fans more time to proselytize the captive Cherokee fans in the bleachers, some of them known to be practicing heathens.

(9) The Unity Christian coaches thought the lengthy delay would cause the Braves' speedy receivers to forget their pass routes.

(8) Suffering a down year in football concession revenues, Unity Christian figured dragging the game out for more than five hours would help replenish the concession coffers from the captive crowd.

(7) The Unity Christian coaches and players hoped during the lengthy delay that record-setting Cherokee quarterback Tyler Jones might graduate or retire.

(6) Aware that the Braves play #1 Central Lyon/George- Little Rock the next week, Unity Christian wanted to also play the game next week in an attempt to tire the Braves and secure runner-up in the district and, therefore, earn a potential state playoff berth.

(5) The Unity Christian Knights delayed the game all they could because they were scared spitless that the Braves explosive passing offense would light them up like Great Grandma UittenVanBorgDeWerffWolterink's birthday cake.

(4) Psh-hh. We're a basketball/volleyball school. What does football have to do with anything?

(3) Not coincidentally, Orange City Dutch bakeries stay open until 8:45 p.m. on Friday nights.

(2) The embarrassing delay will ensure that next year Cherokee will take special measures to have game officials and start the game promptly at 7 p.m. so the Unity Christian fans will have more time to get to the Gasthaus for free popcorn after the game.

And the number one reason Orange City Unity Christian did not have game officials at Friday night's game and started the game an hour and 45 minutes late?

(1) Tulip Time is not until May. What's the big hurry?



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