Monday, October 25, 2010

Music and Sports

White Mountain Symphony Orchestra

We had another eventful weekend!  On Saturday night,  Ed and I attended Sarah's concert in Snowflake.  The program was called "The Dark Sounds of Music" and featured Halloween-worthy tunes such as "Danse Macabre," "Funeral for a Marionette" (once used as the theme music on Alfred Hitchcock's TV show), "A Night on Bald Mountain," and medleys of songs from The Corpse Bride and Phantom of the Opera

Sarah on violin, second from left.

The concert program began with the room going black and an ominous voice from backstage telling the tale behind the first piece of music.  The invisible announcer did this between every song.  It was a lot of fun and the orchestra was amazing, as always.

Ed watches while our principal, Eric, loads up the grill.

On Friday night it was high school football, which is always big news in small towns like ours.  Sarah and Jacob both had to work that night, but at 5:00 Ed, Dylan, and I headed to the faculty tailgate party next to the football field.  Ed's baked beans were a big hit and disappeared fast!

Ed catches me grabbing another handful of chips!

This was an extra-special game night.  It was Blue Ridge versus Show Low, which is always the biggest game of the season.  This year, both teams came to the game undefeated and with high hopes.

Unfortunately, in our current 3-A football league, Show Low is the only team that ever gives our team a run for the money.  Blue Ridge usually ends up winning over other local high schools with scores like 48-0 or 57-7.  We look forward to some serious competition.

The Blue Ridge bleachers were already getting full an hour and a half before the game began!

This year the expectations were even higher than usual.  Due to a claim by Show Low that our school had illegally recruited one of our players, Blue Ridge was forced to go through a process to prove we had not, which we did successfully early in the season.  However, this caught the attention of the media in Arizona and soon stories about the Blue Ridge/Show Low rivalry were being printed in big-city newspapers and discussed on the evening news.  Interest in our little mountain community was piqued throughout the state. 

Television crews from Phoenix came to televise the game!
One of the rented bleacher stands behind the TV van.

Thus, the big game of the season was expected to be much bigger!  Our athletic director rented four extra bleachers to be sure to have enough seating for the 10,000 fans being projected to attend the game.  In the end there were well more than 5,000 spectators in attendance.*
A helicopter lands on the field during the pregame show.

A special pregame show was planned.  The national anthem was performed by a large choir made up of students from both Blue Ridge and Show Low.  We wanted to show the media that a friendly rivalry is not the same thing as being bitter enemies.

Helicopters hovered high above the stadium and two parachutists jumped out carrying "Go Blue Ridge!" and "Go Show Low!" signs, landing on the field.  Then a helicopter actually landed in the middle of the stadium and delivered both team mascots, the Blue Ridge Yellow Jacket and the Show Low Cougar.
The two teams' mascots disembark the helicopter:
The Blue Ridge Yellow Jacket and the Show Low Cougar.

The game itself was as exciting as we'd anticipated.  Show Low ruled the field for the first half.  At half-time the score was 12-10 after a hard-fought battle.

During the half-time show, Ed and I went to the concession stand to get some hot chocolate.  While waiting in the very long line, we ran into my nephew Justin and his wife Alisha.  They joined us in line and we enjoyed a pleasant visit.  It turned out that Alisha had never even heard Ed and I had gotten married!

Justin is a graduate of Show Low High School.  He and his brothers played football for Show Low, including his brother Burke who is currently playing on Show Low's freshman team (who whipped our freshman team the previous day, by the way).  How can I be a bitter enemy of my beloved nieces' and nephews' school?  Sure, I have school spirit and cheer for my team, but I know there are good kids on both sides, playing their hearts out.
Both teams fought hard for the win, but Blue Ridge dominated in the end!

When we returned to our seats, the game had resumed and Show Low had scored another touchdown, bringing the score to 18-10.  It was looking bad, but then Blue Ridge renewed their efforts and the tide began to turn.  In the end it was another Blue Ridge victory, 36-18.

After the game, Ed and I carried our blankets and cushions to the car, prepared to wait for Dylan to join us (he had watched the game with his friends).  As we stowed our stuff in the back of the car, I heard someone shout, "Blue Ridge sucks!"  I turned around to find my brother and his wife, Jeff and Dana, with all their Show Low young'uns standing behind us, laughing.  We shared hugs and traded mild "my team is better than your team" insults before saying good-night.

It's not over, Show Low.  We will meet again.  See you in the play-offs!

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