Friday Night Light

I’m very much not a fan of the NFL kneelers. Football was until very recently among the last domains in American life uninfected by the sepsis of politics.

When I saw this Sierra Canyon player crouched in the far end zone during the anthem Friday night with his back to his team, to the crowd, and to the flag, as much as I wanted to disapprove, his isolation was so complete I felt grudging sympathy for him.

For some reason he also made me think of Kavanaugh, which made the moment doubly political, which was the last thing I wanted. Yet, sympathy, from an unexpected direction.  It helps not to have the media reaching into the window of every moment, steering our reactions, picking the heroes and villains.

Whether his banishment was self-imposed or the result of carefully negotiated compromise with the coaching staff and the administration, I was unable to ascertain.

Drive 15 minutes from Van Nuys and you can be in West Hollywood. Drive 15 minutes in the other direction and you’re in Iowa, among parents cheering their kids as they play for the high school they attended when they were kids.

As vast as Los Angeles can be, even the Valley portion, its nice to see generational continuity. Not everyone came here ten years ago to be famous.  Some people came here 60 years ago to be famous, and now their great-grandchildren aspire to be cheerleaders for the family prep school.

Sierra Canyon, state champions in 2016, dispatched Crespi 60-14, which made the west bleachers rather happy. Crespi was scheduled as a sacrificial lamb on account of the homecoming game.

High School is never without a measure of cruelty.  There is continuity.

3 thoughts on “Friday Night Light”

  1. Pierce? The community college of my Reagan era youth in the Valley? Football? Kneelers? Supreme Court nominees having their adolescent misdemeanors dragged out for gory inspection by all? (I couldn’t escape that level of scrutiny unscathed… nor could most people.) Middle aged ladies sharing their tormented stories of sexual near misses? Heavy sigh.

    Palace intrigue. Eunuchs and concubines. Morality plays. A triumph of melodrama over substantive discussion. Massive distractions from what might be called external reality. At some point we’re all going to be whacked upside the head with something more pressing and direct. Our attention will necessarily be redirected. Shrug.

  2. Not sure how I stumbled on this blog (possibly through Jack Baruth) but pieces like this keep me coming back. Superb writing!

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