The Dundalk Eagle

Rally in An­napo­lis to start H.S. foot­ball faces ob­sta­cles

- By Bill Gates Sports · U.S. Naval Academy · Maryland · Saint John · St. John Knits International Inc. · United States of America · Minnesota · Baltimore · Annapolis · Chesapeake · Towson, MD · Robert Ehrlich · University of Illinois at Chicago · Calvert, MD

Fall foot­ball hopes die hard.

Yeah, I’ve been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing this big empty feel­ing on Fri­day nights (and Satur­day af­ter­noons) th­ese past three weeks. I wanna be out there, as dusk de­scends and the lights come on (and un­der the bright af­ter­noon sunshine), stand­ing on the side­lines and watch­ing high school foot­ball.

(Yeah, I’m torn. Foot­ball at night un­der lights is an ex­pe­ri­ence. But I get much bet­ter pho­tos dur­ing games played on sun-splashed Satur­day af­ter­noons at Pat­ap­sco, Ch­e­sa­peake and Tow­son high schools.

(As far as I’m con­cerned, Pat­ap­sco doesn’t need lights. Plus, when the Pa­tri­ots are at home, I can cover two foot­ball games every week. Well, in nor­mal sea­sons.)

I men­tioned last week how former del­e­gate, con­gress­man and Mary­land gov­er­nor Robert Ehrlich tweeted his sup­port for play­ing high school foot­ball now, not a con­densed sea­son in the late win­ter/ early spring.

This week, Ehrlich has sched­uled a “Let Them Play” rally on Satur­day at 2 p.m. in An­napo­lis. Peo­ple wish­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the rally should meet at the

Lawyers Mall on the cor­ner of State Cir­cle.

(Park on the Mary­land State Em­ployee lot at the cor­ner of Calvert and St. John’s.)

Ac­cord­ing to the rally flyer, 70 per­cent of the United States is cur­rently play­ing high school foot­ball.

“Min­nesota just re­versed their de­ci­sion and will pro­ceed with a fall ath­letic sched­ule,” Ehrlich tweeted. “Let’s make sure Mary­land’s next!”

The rally is sup­ported by the Bal­ti­more Touch­down Club and the Mary­land High School Foot­ball Coach’s As­so­ci­a­tion.

Be­ing able to look for­ward to high school foot­ball this week­end would be won­der­ful. But, as I wrote last week, we’re kinda in a horse, barn and door sit­u­a­tion right now. Wa­ter, bridges and all that. Ships sail­ing.

With an­other week hav­ing passed, it’s a cer­tainty a sea­son could not be started un­til nearly the end of Oc­to­ber. A full sea­son is 14 weeks (nine reg­u­lar sea­son, five weeks of play­offs).

So we’re nearly at the end of De­cem­ber by the end of the reg­u­lar sea­son. The play­offs run through Jan­uary (al­though, yes, with a shrink­ing num­ber of teams each week).

And if the win­ter sea­son isn’t go­ing to start un­til Feb. 1 ....

But is it fair to all the other sports for foot­ball to get a full fall (and into win­ter) sea­son while every other sport gets an ab­bre­vi­ated two-month sea­son in the late win­ter/spring?

Ad­mit it — most of us would have no prob­lem with it. Well, save for the soc­cer die-hards.

I like the plan because it in­creases the chance some games will be played in the snow (we have to re­sume get­ting snow dur­ing the win­ter in th­ese parts even­tu­ally, right?).

But I just don’t see the MPSSAA re­vers­ing course right now, after de­sign­ing the plan to sched­ule all three sports sea­sons for the sec­ond se­mes­ter.

And if there is a COVID-19 “sec­ond wave” over the win­ter, there’s no guar­an­tee that sec­ond se­mes­ter sched­ule will hap­pen.

So, hey, maybe we should try to get foot­ball in while the get­tin’ is good. Start soc­cer, too; they can play two-three games a week, not just one.

The weather looks like it will be nice on Satur­day. Hope there’s a good turnout at the rally.

But we won’t be see­ing high school foot­ball in th­ese parts un­til April, at the ear­li­est. ***

A few weeks ago, I took the Wash­ing­ton Post to task for its re­porters writ­ing that Ge­orge Floyd had been killed by po­lice, when proper jour­nal­is­tic form re­quires — un­til there is a con­vic­tion in a court of law or a con­fes­sion — the use of “al­legedly killed” or “died while in po­lice cus­tody.”

This past week or so, I have twice seen Post re­porters write that Floyd “died while in po­lice cus­tody.”

Huh. And I didn’t even tag them.

Now, if only th­ese re­porters at ma­jor metro dailies would un­der­stand the con­cept of a fol­low-up ques­tion.

Like, say, when a city coun­cil­man states they’re try­ing to re­name Colum­bus Day in or­der to “have a cor­rect view of his­tory,” you then ask him to ex­plain ex­actly what he feels is a “cor­rect view of his­tory.”

Or when an ath­lete says “the Con­sti­tu­tion wasn’t writ­ten for us,” ask them how it wasn’t.

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