Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge

Read Everything That Dunks Must Converge
by Bryan Harvey

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'

Truth & lies in Pixar's 'The Good Dinosaur'
by Bryan Harvey

A world of child soldiers & cowboys

A world of child soldiers & cowboys
by Bryan Harvey

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'

To their own devices: Pablo Larrain's 'The Club'
by Bryan Harvey

Chancellor vs. Powhatan: the Greatest HS football game I will ever see

November 23, 2008

The title does not do this game justice. The Free-Lance Star article does not do this game justice.  A Friday Night Lights script would not do this game justice.  Verses from the Rig Veda, where birth and death happen simultaneously, would not do this game justice.  The Chargers trailed 28-6 at halftime in a Region I, Division 4 championship game.  The Powhatan Indians looked bigger, stronger, and more determined.  They were dominating the home team at the line of scrimmage, running the same play over and over again to the right side of the field, avoiding Chancellor's defensive playmakers.  

And on offense, stud running back Dominque Wallace, who will be at UVA next year, looked like a tractor stuck in the mud, a symbol of an economy grinding to a halt, an end of an era, the death of a dream.  Charger Field was a mausoleum, a tomb for ambition.  The grass on the field was no longer green but brown from a season of cleats and the onset of winter.  In its place, Napoleon's stubbornness sprang up in the shape of the wishbone, Alexander's hubris bloomed and wilted with injuries to the starting safeties, and Sundiata failed to uproot his destiny, staying on all fours, leaving "The Hymn of the Bow" to drift in the realm of imagination.  At halftime, the idea of heroism was a foolish concept, and there were no fools rooting for the Chargers.  As the team left the field, any shouts that came from the home stands were full of bitterness, anger, and a reality that was cold enough to see one's breath.  This season was escaping Chancellor the way a ghost does flesh.

On the same field, where heroes died and villains made, fate switched the roles of the two teams, as if destiny swung on a pendulum.  Dominique Wallace grabbed the steel rod and lifted himself up onto two legs and cut the Gordian Knot in half.  Mud flew from his tires and landed on the helmets of Powhatan defenders like gold coins in a fountain.  Spain came to the New World looking for gold, but found the California coastline bathed in sunshine.  We came in 30 degree weather to see a football game and left believing in Ymir, Yama, Dr. Manhatan, and Jesus.  We came into the game thinking seasons unfold on strings and are cut by old hags; we left knowing quarters, games, and seasons spin on wheels, that what goes up must come down, and that a dying breath can be inhaled by the living.  

What I saw yesterday on the field was otherworldly.  No one on that team could tell anyone exactly what happened.  Junior cornerback Tony Russell, who had three interceptions, would describe it as a look in Dominique Wallace's eye, and whatever caused that look or from wherever it came it was enough to calm a team in midst of a storm:

At dawn my lover comes to me
And tells me of her dreams
With no attempts to shovel the glimpse
Into the ditch of what each one means
At times I think there are no words
But these to tell what's true
And there are no truths outside the Gates of Eden
                                                           Bob Dylan, "The Gates of Eden"

Of course, sometimes Eden still finds us, and we manifest our hopes and dreams to keep paradise with us by running the wishbone.  Yesterday, the home team got the bigger half of a superstition by not panicking and believing in the system that got them here and in life's endless opportunities for redemption.  Good luck, Chargers, against Broad Run next week. 

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow!! it was one of the greatest games I have every witnessed. for no one who reads this blog the Dan River-Altavista high school game in 1970 won by Altavista 12-0 ranks up there with this one because of the hitting of the two teams. The Chancellor game was more than a tale of two halves. It was unbelievable and no one could have written the script. I was just glad to witness it with my son who wrote this blog.

November 23, 2008 at 10:28 PM
Teach said...

My dad's very supportive and possibly our only reader.

November 23, 2008 at 11:08 PM
Langston said...

I wouldn't be to quick to dismiss our following in Malaysia and much of Southeast Asia.

November 24, 2008 at 6:39 PM
Anonymous said...

The Chargers met their demise in Sparta.

Special teams turned a close game in the Spartans favor. with a blocked punt and a long punt return leading to two quick TDs at the start of the third quarter.

A great game and played to a very high standard by bother teams.

November 29, 2008 at 8:05 PM
Anonymous said...

That should read "both teams", not "bother".

BTW, greetings from Pyongyang :-)

November 30, 2008 at 11:17 AM
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