Our lives this year have been full of high school football. Lynn is writing her dissertation about how football literacies do and do not translate well into the more traditional literacies required at school. Her Ph.D. focuses on urban adolescent literacy and she has published a flurry of articles on various non-school literacies and how they intersect with school literacies.
This means that I have been to more high school football games this fall than I have attended for the rest of my life (and that would include the high school football games I bought tickets for, and pretended to go to, but instead snuck to the movie theatre since we Baptist Fundamentalists didn't believe in the movies. Well, I guess some of us did).
Canton is a football town and I have always known this and appreciated it as an anthropological quirk. I've watched Go Tigers! (the worthwhile documentary about another Stark County high school football team and their quest to defeat Canton's own McKinley bulldogs), I even toyed with writing an academic paper on a huge "political" scandal that erupted a number of years ago when two twirlers (yes, baton twirlers) became ground zero for the a town councilman and a school administrator to square off, accuse each other of racism and drag their daughters across the headlines of the local papers for a week based on how one of the twirlers had not been selected as "head" twirler over the other.
When McKinley, many-time winner of State Championships squared off against Glen Oak, our kids were suddenly dividing their loyalties and trying to decide who they would root for: the team that Lynn is studying and tells intriguing stories about every night at dinner? Or the team that all their schoolmates are rooting for in the first year that they've attended a traditional public school with an affiliated local high school program?
When the family walked into the local grocery store during that Glen Oak / McKinley rivalry week, I had to snap this picture. The warring cookies were set up to greet the customers. Which giant cookie would they buy for the big tailgate?
The kids decided to root for McKinley, but Glen Oak won. This weekend, in the first round of playoffs -- the outcomes were reversed: McKinley advanced. Glen Oak fell.
I'm no more of a fan than I was at the beginning, and I'll be glad when it's all over, but it is a FASCINATING world.