Saturday, September 6, 2008

It's all over but the equinox

It's still blazing hot, the days are still much longer than the nights and Fall technically doesn't start until Sept. 22, but summer's over for me.

Technically in the Bay Area (at least the north Peninsula), you can tell it's the end of summer when the weather actually begins to get warm. But for me, the traditional end of summer is the start of the high school football season. Last night, I covered my first game of the season for the San Mateo Times.

It was actually a decent kickoff for the gridiron season. Terra Nova scored a touchdown in the last 65 seconds to beat visiting Burlingame, 15-10. You can read my story online. (As an aside, whenever I have a game at Terra Nova, I have a ritual of eating my pre-game meal at the world's most awesome Taco Bell, literally built on stilts above the beach in Pacifica, near Ian's school).

The only disappointing thing was the new field at Terra Nova. There was a beautiful Field Turf carpet, but I think Terra Nova was one of the few fields around here that didn't need one. Unlike the ratty fields at, say, our local high school (which shall remain nameless), Terra Nova's had a well-drained, lush field of green grass -- which is what the game should be played on.

Sometimes I get a tad depressed that I'm again doing the same primary job (security) that I had 13 years ago, despite getting a pair of bachelor's degrees. I don't, however, have a problem writing about high school football year after year after year. Covering football is a tradition, one I've had every fall since 1992 (except 1996, 1998 and 1999 and not counting spectator attendances in 1987-1991 and 1995). The weird thing? I don't even really like football all that much -- at least above the high school level. But covering football takes me back to my (relatively) youthful days, when I thought I was either going to be the world's most dashing sports writer or foreign correspondent.

Or maybe walking the sidelines with high schoolers every Friday night just helps me forget that I'll be 40 in three years.

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