View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 11/11

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: November 11, 2010 - 4:01 PM



I’ve seen some great football in my almost 20 years of covering games in the Kansas City Metro. There have been fantastic finishes, dominating performances and games that outlived the hype, even if that is possible.

I have seen many great games, but for every four or five great games I have seen there are one or two stinkers that bring down the curve. Games might be considered a stinker for many reasons. Sometimes a team is just overmatched, sometimes they just put the ball on the ground too much, other times it just isn’t anybody’s night.

One of those nights was last Wednesday in the first round of the Missouri playoffs. I covered the Pembroke Hill at Imagine Renaissance Class 3 regional game at William Chrisman High School. The Warriors are a first-year program and they finished 6-4 and earned a trip to the playoffs so I thought this would be an interesting game to catch to kick off the playoffs.

Oh it was interesting. If you were the kind of fan who just can’t get enough football, this game was for you. It went on forever and seemed like it would never end. There were many reasons this contest is one I will never forget. More specifically, there were 37 reasons why I will never forget this game. The 37 reasons were the 37 penalties called in the game.

You didn’t read that wrong, there were 37 penalties accepted in the game. Pembroke Hill would win the game 35 to 12 but the officials scored 37 so they were probably the real winners.

I hate to pick on officials because they probably could have called a penalty on every play. It’s football, we all know you can call things like holding and pass interference on almost every play. Like the saying goesn ‘if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying’ but that is just part of the game.

I think the officials were probably calling what they were seeing. At least I have to assume that’s what they were doing. Unlike coaches and players, officials don’t have post game interview sessions even at the highest level of sports. But that is another gripe for another day.

The issue I have with the Pembroke Hill-Imagine Renaissance game was there was no pace, no flow. Football even with its pauses for huddles, timeouts and resetting of the ball is a flow game. When there are constant stops in play the game begins to bog down and the players and coaches lose a feel for what might be the next best decision or action.

It is kind of like golf. When you walk, or ride, up to your shot and just take a swing you tend to hit a better shot. The more time you spend thinking about it bad things tend to happen.

Trust me there was plenty of time to think about it last Wednesday and not much good came out of it. Hopefully with that game out of the way I will get to see several great games the rest of the playoffs. Of course I have now cursed myself and the Blue Springs-Rockhurst game will be a stinker, but I really doubt that.