And now, a letter from the editor.
Dear sports fans of Platte County,
I can hardly believe itís been almost 10 years since I last wore a band uniform, whether it was that pseudo-military-style jacket, slacks, gloves, polished white marching shoes and fancy shako helmet or the casual but professional polo shirt.
Almost a decade ago, I was a Green High School Bulldog, playing trumpet for the marching band during football season and the pep band for basketball games.
Itís hard for me to remember some of the stuff that happened to me nearly 10 years ago. Yet being among you brought a flood of flashbacks from a great time in my life.
I remember the roar of the crowd and having my voice among them during a big play. I remember being unabashedly hollering and cheering for the Orange and Black in victory and still yelling my support in defeat. Every game was an adrenaline rush.
Being a member of the press now rather than being the distant, less athletic cousin of the cheerleader I was back then, I canít cheer and wear out my voice chanting and whooping like I used to.
However, what might seem like something of a disadvantage ends up working for me. I donít know how many of you have ever experienced it, but I want you to try something for me when youíre at a game sometime. Step away from the crowd and just listen. If youíre lucky, there will be a big play, and thatís when you hear it. Yes, itís not uncommon to hear the roar of the crowd on TV or in movies, but itís a whole new ball game, if youíll forgive the pun, when youíre standing in front of a crowd of sports fans. Thereís not enough space inside a person to contain the kind of energy the crowd produces. Itís overwhelming, exhilarating and beautiful in its own right.
The smaller crowds are different, but in my view, that support is just as vital and empowering for the players. Whatever their game of choice, if itís basketball, wrestling, track, football or what have you, cheer them on. If itís a great game, keep cheering to help keep that momentum going. If things arenít going so well, lift their spirits. If the game ends in defeat, let them know youíre proud of them. All this can be done by coming to games and cheering for your team.
Some of the athletes are on fire, and itís great to hear you cheer for them. Some seasons arenít going so hot, but keep that support going.
Why stop at athletics? Cheer for the band, the 4-H, the FFA, any club or organization in which your student or older loved one is involved.
Itís because of the love of the game or competition or the art itself that they started doing what they do. Itís your support, your fandom, your applause and itís because of you that they keep doing what they do.
Thank you, fans. Iím clearly not an athlete, and Iím no longer a student, but Iím sure theyíre just as impressed by your support as I am.