I want to go on the record and say that 7 o’clock football games rock.
Or, I wish I could say that, as I have yet to experience one in the Tri-Cities.
Local prep football fans, we have been duped. Bamboozled. Hoodwinked. Promised a Mustang muscle car, and given a Gremlin.
Effectively, we’ve been conned into showing up for a varsity showcase and given the end of a freshman show.
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When the schedules were rolled out for Tri-Cities’ 3A and 4A football teams, it seemed that logic had won out with the new Mid-Columbia and kickoffs were moved up from 7:30 p.m. to 7.
For years, coaches have been asking for this. Athletic directors wanted it, parents wanted it. Basically, everyone who didn’t have to travel a several hours thought it was a good idea.
And now that most “road trips” have been pared down to going over a bridge or two, it seemed that 7 o’clock kickoffs finally had arrived.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the stadium. Somone forgot to tell the early show — freshmen on the first weekend — to bump up their start time half an hour.
The result: Both games at Lampson Stadium this weekend — Richland-Southridge on Friday, and Prosser-Kamiakin on Saturday — started late. The Mustangs and Braves didn’t kick off until after 7:30, didn’t finish regulation until after 10 and didn’t finish overtime until after 10:30.
Now, to a newspaper guy, minutes are counted in dog years come deadline. So 30 minutes early in the night seem like three hours of extra time come 10:45. Perhaps I would have been able to stick around and see the finish of the game before heading back to the office to get a story filed on time.
I can’t hold the athletic organizers too harshly. It is the first week, and sometimes things slip through the cracks. Also, Lampson Stadium is a busy place, with soccer also played on its field turf. Indeed, there was a soccer game earlier Saturday as well.
But false advertising is false advertising, and 7 o’clock is 7 o’clock, and games that start late are the reason sports writers go to the bar early.