Monday, November 4, 2013

If you're planning on seeing...

...three playoff games in one weekend it doesn't hurt to start out with a big plate of spaghetti and Italian sausage at Tufano's, above, on Vernon Park Place in Little Italy. That's what I did on Friday afternoon before sitting in the cold rain at St. Rita of Cascia High School on the South Side.

It was worth it, though, to see Tommy Mister and the Mustangs defeat Willowbrook, 34-6. I actually came to see both quarterbacks; I hadn't seen Mister live since the first game of the season against Marist and hadn't seen Warrior QB Brian Johnson at all. But I'd heard about Johnson's big game against Lyons in Week Two in which he threw for an amazing 675 yards and seven touchdowns.

So how did the two signal-callers do? Well, Mister rushed for 136 yards and scored three touchdowns while Johnson passed for a grand total of 51 yards and two interceptions. What happened? As best as I could tell, St. Rita's defensive line was in the Willowbrook backfield almost immediately every time and Johnson, scrambling, couldn't find an open receiver even though the Warriors often sent out five guys.

The contest was a defensive battle, at least in the first half, which ended with Rita up only 7-6. The Warriors' defense, in fact, was so fired up that it kept them in the game until midway through the third quarter when the Mustangs began to run away with it.

So now St. Rita will face Mount Carmel (again) at Gately this weekend. Mister was limping for much of the game on Friday night (apparently, he had twisted his ankle in the first half) so I asked him if he'd be ready for the Caravan.

Yeah I will! I'd play with a broken leg next week; biggest game of the year.

It will certainly be the biggest game of Round Two.

One last comment on my visit to St. Rita: I was surprised (and gladdened) to hear the PA announcer at halftime mention the passing this year of Rita alumnus Ray Manzarek of the Doors. I wasn't sure if the Catholic school would be proud or not of such a member of the 1960s Counterculture. (In typical Catholic school fashion, however, they focused on the "millions of records the Doors sold." It's better, I guess, to remember Manzarek as a successful entrepreneur rather than a drug-addled rock star.) In any event, the marching band performed very respectable renditions of "Touch Me" and "Light My Fire." I was impressed, although I noted that they didn't choose to play "The End." (I couldn't upload this video of Manzarek telling the story of the band's playing "The End" at Whisky a Go Go for the first time, but it's really worth watching.)

Saturday afternoon found me out in Glen Ellyn for my first 5A matchup of the year, between 5-4 St. Francis and the undefeated home team, Glenbard South. Despite the expectations of many observers, the contest turned out to be a bit of a mismatch. The star running back for St. Francis, James Butler, didn't play due to a concussion he had suffered in the Spartans' last game of the regular season. The contest didn't lack for scoring, though, as it ended, 47-28, Raiders. (Who had the "Over"?)

Glenbard South will now host No. 6-seed Lincoln-Way West (8-1). The Warriors, who only lost to undefeated Sycamore in Week One, will be far and away the best test (the first test?) for the Raiders this year.  Do I smell an upset? Maybe.

After warming up with a double-cheeseburger and coffee at the Steak 'n Shake on Euclid in Mount Prospect (and poring over the day's results on Twitter) it was off to my last game of the weekend between the visiting Warren Blue Devils (6-3) and the Titans of Glenbrook South (7-2). I figured this would be a fairly even contest between a No. 7 and a No. 10 seed.

The Titans got off to an early lead and seemed to be in control as they led at the half, 10-7. The Blue Devils, however, figured out that they could pass on GBS and came roaring back to take the lead for the first time in the fourth quarter. From then on it was all Warren as the Gurnee squad finished with a 33-17 victory. The Blue Devils will now face No. 2 Barrington (8-1) at home. That could be a good game.

So by this time tomorrow I should have my games for the coming weekend. (I sure hope they don't schedule St. Rita - Mount Carmel at the same time as Glenbard North - Stevenson. I'd really like to see both games.)

Finally, a quick word about fashion sense at football games in November. Why is it that there's always at least one guy wearing shorts at these games? Does he want attention? Or is he just trying to prove that he's manlier than the rest of us all bundled up in down jackets and stocking caps? Would he really be so uncomfortable in long pants? And what does he do when the mercury tops, say, 90 degrees in Chicago? Walk around buck naked? Or just hibernate inside with the lights off and the AC turned way up? I don't get it.

Another sartorial mystery to me is the wearing of ski bands or ear muffs. Why not just wear a full-fledged hat? Do they save money by buying less material? Or do they just think that their hair looks so good that they don't dare get it mussed? (The guy in the red jacket above was bald, for crying out loud.) Is it some sort of fashion statement? This head band looks much better on me than a hat, wouldn't you say? It doesn't. It looks ridiculous -- and cold. Just wear a regular hat like the rest of us. (And long pants.)

Check in tomorrow for my Round Two games of the week.

1 comment:

Ed Crotty said...

BOWG, You crack me up with the fashion coverage.