Two games, almost simultaneously.
To which do you go?
The NVL Championship game
No. 2/1 ANSONIA (9-0) vs. 3/4 HOLY CROSS (9-0) at Wolcott? (6 p.m. start)
The SWC Championship game:
No. 8/10 BUNNELL (9-0) vs. No. 5 MASUK (9-0) at Pomperaug? (7 p.m. start)
They’re almost right down the street from each other. Just a hop, skip and a jump over that jumble and tangle of overpasses called Waterbury.
You want an awesome running back? The NVL title game has two. Ansonia’s Alex Thomas and Holy Cross’ Dan Mulrooney . He’s going to BC next year.
You want an awesome quarterback? Good ones in both games. Bunnell’s Steve Smith at the SWC, HC’s Mike Croce at the NVL. But if you’re looking for the over on passes, the SWC is your best bet. Smith throws on every play and Masuk is, well, Masuk. But they’ve run the ball a lot more this season. Still, over 3,000 yards passing between the two.
Defense? How about defense? The best one is Masuk over at the SWC game. Though Ansonia has a pretty good one at the NVL. Bunnell and HC have underrated Ds.
Scott Christy and Dan Shea at Masuk are worth the price of admission. So’s Mike Flynn and Erik Kuracea at Ansonia. T.J. Campion’s a pretty darn good lineman at HC. Bunnell’s Devon Polite might be the best D-back of the evening.
Coaching: Lots to choose from. You have Murph and Bruno at the SWC. Young Tommy B and Mike P at the NVL. Not one Jack Hunt among them. None of them are very tall. Bruno may be as wide as he is tall (lol). He’s also worth a few tears, win or lose (especially win).
As far as records go, the SWC brings the most total coaching wins. Murph’s got 93 at Masuk, Bruno’s got 47 at Bunnell. They’re a lot younger over in the NVL, Tom Brockett is 29. Phelan’s probably in his 30s. I don’t know who has more assistants, Masuk or Ansonia.
Maybe Masuk, where even the assistants have assistants.
Parking? SWC. Pomperaug has plenty of spots for a superfan like yerself. At Wolcott, you’d be better off parachuting into the stadium. They might as well play that game in a sardine can.
Seats? A slight nod to Pomperaug, especially since you can camp out on the large hill on the home side. Then again, if it rains, you’re in trouble.
Hot dogs, get your hot dogs: Pricey over at Pomperaug. Bring a credit card. Then again, you’d be better off eating at a 5-star restaurant. Same price, better food. Not sure what the folks over at Wolcott offer. If their food is anything like their seating, pack a carboard box for dinner.
Print Coverage: OK, this should be fun.
At the NVL, you’ll have our own Emmett Spillane; Mark Jaffee and probably Joe Pal from the Republican-American; the good ol’ NH Register (could be a Pooch patrol!) and maybe even Ned G. from The Day scouting out his two No. 1 teams.
(The Courant realistically doesn’t show up to games until December).
Unlike the FCIAC, which has two, sometimes three weekly papers for every town and figures to have at least 20 reporters at the Friday game (uuugh, I’ve already been told the Boyle Stadium Press Box is full), I gather there won’t be a lot of reporters crowding the sideline at Wolcott.
That is, unless the 80 or so bloggers and posters from Birdseye somehow sneak onto the field. (Everybody wants to be a sportswriter, huh?)
By the way, the over-under on the time it takes “Boss” aka Mr. Holy Cross, to get a score posted?
“It’s scoreless here… just got off the Holy Cross bus.”
At the SWC, you’ll have us, the Register… and that’s about it unless the SWC Paper of Record (The Danbury NewsTimes) decides to cover the game. For the first time since 2000, they won’t have a team in this game. But will they do a GAME TIME feature?
Weekly, you’ll have my buddy Mike Madera of Elm City Newspapers (what, Mike? West Haven isn’t playing???) and from Hometown Newspapers, probably Christian Meagher. Billy Bloxom will probably go to Wolcott.
Airwaves: This isn’t the FCIAC, which will have TWO radio stations covering the game. Maybe they can rock-paper-scissors with the loser going to the SWC, which to my knowlege will have no radio (why WICC doesn’t get into the act, I’ll never know).
Don Boyle over at sportingnewsct.com, apparently will do the SWC game. Good for him.
The NVL will have WATR… probably from a helicopter.
Television: For sure, you’ll have those crazy http://www.wfsb.com/hsfootball/index.htmlpeeps at the Wolcott game going on and on about where the two rank “Day of New London” coach’s poll.
First of all, guys, that sounds silly at an NVL game. Second, Joe and John, while I know you’ve got corporate crossovers to think about, the Coaches Poll has always been a distant No. 2 in Connecticut.
I will say this about the Coaches Poll: At least Ned Griffen of The Day isn’t a poll hog like the New Haven Register. As soon as it’s done, Ned emails it to everybody.
The New Haven Register’s is a bit more clandestine, like they’re guarding the secret formula of Coke. They won’t email their poll to the rest of the state’s newspapers (even though we all vote in it) presumably until everybody has a copy of the Register in their hands.
Then they try pulling a “sneak peek” promo to get people to watch WTNH above everyone else. WTNH would get lost trying to cover high school games. Howabout that? We’re at Gampel Pavilion again. Oh well. Where’s Jim?
But I digress…
The best TV guy in the biz, News-12′s Bill Gonillo will be up at Pomperaug. WFSB will have somebody at Pomperaug, too. No, ESPN will not be at either game.
And, of course, if superfan Bobby Cuozzo could split himself in two, he’d be at both games. But he’ll probably stake out Wolcott.
As for me, I’ll be at Pomperaug. They promised me an internet connection.
At Wolcott, I’d have to file my story with paper cups tied to a string. And that’s not happening.
(Have fun, Emmett!)
So… Which game are YOU going to?