Saturday is a commonly rough day for me. I usually like kick it late nite with fellow football reporters and chow down some Buffalo wings at Archie Moore’s (in either Fairfield or New Haven) after Friday’s games. (Where have you gone, fellow Syracuse alum Phil Soto-Ortiz?)
By the time I wake late morning, it’s almost time to hit the Saturday afternoon games. So, yeah, I wanted to head to Darien to see Greenwich. But it’s a long trip from my home outside New Haven. So I settled for a trip to Fairfield Warde-McMahon instead.
With Warde down 22-0 at halftime, the game was starting to look like a dud (it didn’t turn out that way) and the present members of the press on the sidelines — including Matt Doran of the Norwalk Hour — were being treated with hostility by the referee crew and subsequently the admins on the Fairfield Warde sideline (more on that later).
While all of that nonsense was going on at halftime, I was getting unexpected but welcomed text updates from David Liberatore (a Norwalk teacher and former freelance sports writer for us and the Norwalk Hour) that Darien was leading big, bad Greenwich 17-7… no, the next text came in, make it “24-7!” in the second quarter.
Now, with the powers that be at Warde getting antsy, I figured this was my cue to delete my video footage from Warde’s game and split for Darien to catch the rest of that game.
I arrived in the middle of third quarter and stayed to watch the end of Saturday’s upset:
Darien 31, Greenwich 25
Here’s the short-short version I wrote for Sunday’s Connecticut Post: Darien shocks Greenwich, 31-25
Here’s the verbose version from someone who was actually there the entire game, the Greenwich Time’s Jesse Quinlan: Darien stuns Greenwich
Here’s my shaky, Zapruder-like video footage of Darien TE Brian Kosnick‘s back-breaking touchdown catch described within both stories:
(Incidentally, Kosick had to be helped off the field and didn’t return. He spent the rest of his game with his arm in a sling.)
And here was what the finale looked like:
Yikes. These are bad.
It’s all good, though. We’ll have more vids and commentary later with podcasts and such throughout the week. I just thought we’d get these up for your perusing pleasure.
A big thanks to Liberatore for enticing me out of hostile Fairfield and down to this big game. Another big thanks to Darien’s football team for heeding my podcast’s call to shake things up a bit in this league.
Now here’s what the brouhaha was about at Warde.
Everything was fine until late in the second quarter when the head ref at the game actually called an official time out to order me out from behind end zone where I was harmlessly taking video with my dinky little camera. Whatever, I returned to the sidelines.
But at halftime, Fairfield Warde AD Chris Manfredonia approached a group of us and said the ref told him to eject anyone without official FCIAC press passes from the sidelines. The problem was, with exception of FCIAC football blogger Tim Parry (where does he get those wonderful toys?), the rest of us traditional media types neither possessed nor were ever told about these super passes. Regardless, Manfredonia said, all of us except Tim were expected to leave the sidelines where we normally work.
Apparently, in an understandable effort to keep undesirables off the sidelines the FCIAC is now issuing press passes to everybody… that is, except the actual press. Great.
I didn’t stick around, but I understand the controversy settled in the second half thanks to a few calls to certain FCIAC heads of state and people were allowed to stay, which is good.
I’m all for security, but can we get this figured out soon, FCIAC? Like, before some of us get kicked out of a game we’re supposed to be covering?
Thanks… now back to football.