ESPN Madision

Reaf Refs, Real Fun: A Personal Plea for Prep Football

Sep 28, 2012 -- 3:30pm

Well, I guess we don’t have to boycott the NFL after all.

Earlier in the week, in the wake of the absolute travesty that was the final play of the Monday Night Football game, I made a suggestion on Twitter: If you had given up on the National Football League, you should make Friday night your new football night.  We didn’t have to worry about replacement referees in prep football, after all.

With the return of the “real” refs this week, I suppose we can all go back to yelling at our televisions on Sundays (and Thursdays and Mondays).  But I stand by my original suggestion.  This weekend, I encourage you to watch football in a different way, with a different attitude.  I encourage you to attend a high school football game.

I realize some of you may be parents, teachers, students, or community members who attend prep football games on a regular basis.  It is greatly appreciated.  But to those of you who have not thought about high school football since you were in high school, here’s my pitch:  It’s fall, which I wholeheartedly believe is the best time of the year.  The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, it’s sweatshirt weather.  And, maybe most importantly, it’s football season. 

Instead of watching games in your living room all weekend, gather up your friends and family, grab a couple of blankets, and dust off the seat cushions you forgot were in the back of the closet.  Get a hot chocolate and a hot dog at the concession stand.  Buy a raffle ticket… or eight.  And please, if you don’t make another sound for the rest of the game, sing “Hey! Baby” with the marching band.

Even if you don’t have an allegiance to a specific team, or can’t name a player on the current roster, go for the ambiance, the experience.  Cheer for the home team, or the team whose mascot you like the best.  Support student athletes who not only work extremely hard, but who love the game of football.  And I can’t say this enough, the talent level throughout the conferences has been outstanding this season. School, season, and conference records are being broken seemingly every week.  It’s an exciting time to see these athletes perform.

So, my challenge for you is to trade one of your professional or college games this week for a local prep football game.  It’s less expensive than going to the movies and it supports your school’s athletic department.  It's a veritable win-win.

But please remember, unlike your living room, if you yell at the refs during these games… people can actually hear you.

As always, check out our preview capsules for the Big 8 and the NIC 10 every Friday, and listen to Prep Corner every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on ESPN 1380.

by Liz Rudolph
ESPN 1380 Prep Reporter
Twitter: @LizESPN1380

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