After about three sleepless nights, not only for the coaching staffs and players, but for us as well trying to put together all the advances possible, we’re finally here.
It’s only 3 1/2 hours to the first kickoff so I’m not sure how many of you out there will be seeing this. (I only live in Hamden a few minutes away from WH, so no worries for me).
But as much as I’m exhausted, I’m fired up to get these suckers started. I’ll be at West Haven all day, all night, to see our Stratford schools and Staples play for state titles.
Just an FYI, I love our Stratford photo that appeared in Friday’s paper:
Not many people realize how much work went into it. Our staff photog Autumn Pinette not only had to deal with a tight five-minute window (both Steve Smith and Torrey Mackhad to get moving to practice), but she also had to deal with me.
I was antsy and worried it wouldn’t work out. I desperately wanted the shot to illustrate the comraderie between the two players and the two schools despite the growing division of politics and demographics in town. (And it’s there, believe me, we deal with it every day even in sports).
Anyway, I was being a pain, asking for alternate positions and then saying stuff like: “We’ll do that and then get out of here.”
At one point Smith says: “Dude, she’s going to kill you in a second.”
It reminded me of a photo shoot I tried to coordinate at Syracuse with a bunch of clowns named Donovan McNabb, Rob Konrad, Kevin Johnson, Kyle McIntosh and Dee Brown . I had D-Nabb hold out a football and had the other guys reach for it, to show there’s only one ball to go around to all of these great players…
McNabb (laughing): “That’s dumb.”
Me: “I’m just thinking here, Don. What do you want to do???”
Then KJ and Kyle and D-Nabb started making goofy faces. (sigh).
It looks simple in print, but it’s never easy.
I will say that Steve and Torrey were a lot more cooperative than McNabb and Co. (Steve didn’t care, he just wanted to make sure he looked good). Coaches Craig Bruno and Duane Shirden were very accomodating despite their busy, short-week schedules.
And the shot was tremendous, really captured the essence of what these games are about to Stratford.
Now, of course, they’re talking about the cover jinx in Stratford from what I hear. But, since I picked against both squads, so doesn’t that off-set the jinx?
C’mon people, which jinx is the real jinx?
Regardless of what happens, it’s been a tremendous season in Stratford. Though I picked ‘em both to lose, here’s hoping they can make it close… if not win.
Good luck to Staples and Holy Cross as well. Two fine teams with great coaches and players. Should be a couple of good games.