From the Sidelines: Glimpses of the Game and All Its Glory
By Andy Bays/Contributor
The sun burst through a hazy sky as the teams met on the field beneath hundreds of spectators.
The Rams, pumped up and high-fiving before kick-off, as opposed to the Gouchos, who were reserved and stood in formation.
A fumble recovered by the Gouchos early in the first quarter sent the Saddleback fans into a boisterous cheer.
After the fumble, the neck veins of City College’s offensive coordinator were bulging as he gave his squad, assembled on an aluminum bench, a stern talk.
Both offenses were held to mid-field for several possessions, which sent a shudder of silent unrest throughout the loyal Rams fans.
The Gouchos’ quarterback, completing several devastating passes, caused the Saddleback fans to explode with high-fives and cheer.
On a successful Rams drive, Saddleback fans stomped their feet and chanted “defense,” while a motley assortment of Rams fans rang cowbells, twirled towels, and rattled bottles filled with pennies.
Many City College fans couldn’t help but laugh as a hapless Rams Offensive Lineman unwittingly caught a fumble and tried to juke his way down field.
A slight, erratic breeze from the southwest, as a veil of cirrostratus clouds, blocked the sun. To the north, blue skies. As the sun once again shone through the mercurial atmosphere, layers of clothing were removed from spectators as the aroma of sunscreen wafted though the stands.
One lone, red-faced fan stood and shouted “c’mon” to his fellow spectators, many of whom were conversing or using their cell phones as someone shook a cowbell nearby.
Shortly before halftime, scores of elderly fns in their alma mater apparel filed toward the bathrooms to beat the crowds.
Distant cumulus clouds moved into the sky north of the stadium, as temperatures fell to a brisk 70-degrees and the light wind died down.
Many stood to stretch while the Saddleback cheerleaders did an energetic, yet sloppy dance routine.
Two police officers confiscated a tall can of Steel Reserve malt liquor from one unlucky Rams fan, and several half-starved Saddleback cheerleaders waited with everyone else in line to get hotdogs and pizza.
People chatting while the sun once again appears and “Eye of the Tiger,” among other classics, plays from the P.A. system.
The Rams trot back on the field as “Come Together” plays. Fans cheer, sing along, and many call out individuals’ names.
Winds began to pick up slightly. Coats are necessary for all beneath the foggy clouds, except for a few hardy members of the Rams coaching staff who are comfortable in shorts.
Several Rams players stand on the aluminum bench to watch their defense hold the Gouchos to an unsuccessful 4th down attempt.
A penalty against the Rams sends a mixed roar of boos and cheers throughout the crowd.
The announcer’s mid-western tenor sputters out updates above the cowbells and claps.
The Rams’ mascot, a tawny ram in a red t-shirt, stands transfixed on the game.
A Rams drive falls just short of scoring, leaving many hopeful City College fans standing with reluctant arms held aloft in an unsure touchdown pose.
Thick, grey clouds move in. In the distance, on the other side of the field from the stands, the relentless Saddleback cheerleaders do ‘leapin’ loras’ — their cheers drowned out by the cacophony of crowd noise.
Winds pickup and humidity jumps to 30 percent as the 3rd quarter draws to a close. Shortly afterward, the glaring rays of the sun make another appearance, bathing everyone in a golden luminescence.
Several Rams holding up four fingers as the last 4th-quarter of the season, and, for many of them, the last 4th-quarter of their lives tumbles forth on time’s ever-indifferent arrow.
The wind died and was soon after again is resurrected.
Rams running game on a breakaway, 35 yard run to the Gouchos’ 4-yard line. Rams fans “went wild” again — yelling, banging and high-fiving.
The smell of sweat and hotdogs carried through the stands as the sun’s radiation shed the block of a cottony cloud.
After a Rams touchdown, the City mascot turns from its rapt gaze to engage the uproarious crowd in several enthusiastic fist pumps.
Saddleback’s talented quarterback makes a run for it while many in the crowd cry out “get him.”
Saddleback made a fierce drive downfield with nine minutes left in the 4th quarter, yet Rams players were casual on the sidelines, some shifting their weight from foot to foot in anticipation of a victory.
City College recovered the ball and the Rams sideline was ecstatic, with a few spraying gatorade while the mascot clapped heartily.
As the 4th quarter wound down, and it looked as if the Gouchos might make an unbelievable comeback, the announcer advertised half-price hotdogs and pizza at the concessions. Scarcely a single seat in the stands was vacated for the bargain meats, as all eyes gazed with unremitting scrutiny on the action on the field.
After an 82-yard touchdown run by the Gouchos, a few among the incredulous Rams fans exclaimed “celebrate that loss,” and “this game’s over.”
The celebratory gatorade still wet on many of their jerseys, City College players stand in undivided attention toward the onside kick from the momentum-gaining Gouchos.
With 3:20 left in the game, Saddleback’s offense was in turbo mode as the barely visible Goucho cheerleaders continued to shake their pompoms at binocular distance.
Someone in the crowd, upon seeing the Gouchos drive toward the end zone: “Oh no. They can’t score again.”
Brows were furrowed and boos were emanated among the Rams fans as Saddleback scored.
Referees huddled up to confer notes on a play riddled with more penalties than a Volkswagen after an emissions test.
Rams fans were crestfallen after Gouchos scored the two-point conversion on their second attempt. The once 26-0 game was now 26-14. But Saddleback’s fate was sealed as the game clock wound down and the long-awaited celebration began.
Comments are closed.