Many reasons for local sports fans to be thankful
Published 8:45 pm Wednesday, November 22, 2006
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
With Thanksgiving just a few hours away, now is as good a time as any to be thankful for what we have on the local sports scene.
Community support: Both T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal fans can be proud of the fact they often have as many, if not more fans than the home team does during the football season.
Bleachers that won't (or at least shouldn't) collapse: Remarkably “only” two T.R. Miller fans had to be taken to the hospital after the middle bleacher selection collapsed during the 2005 playoff game at Aliceville.
Dedicated coaches: Most fans only see the work coaches do for a few hours on game night. What they don't see is all the hours they put in when it comes to preparation time during the season and offseason.
Field workers: Like coaches, fans usually only see what a facility looks like on game day. Countless workers, especially with outdoor facilities, put in numerous hours to get a playing surface ready for competition.
The great field designs and paint jobs fans see on the field at T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal do not appear by magic.
A legendary manager: There is only one Andrew “Zeke” Johnson in this world and T.R. Miller has been fortunate to have his services for 32 years.
Great bands: The halftime performances T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal provide stack up well against anybody.
Cheerleaders: Local squads always provide the crowd with plenty of spirit and enthusiasm.
A season of safe travel: Give credit to the drivers for our local teams who get the players and coaches to and from a game safely.
Safety is something we usually take for granted until it's too late.
Bright lights: W.S. Neal fans experienced one of the darkest facilities around this fall when the Blue Eagles traveled to Southside-Selma. Moonlight provided about as much light as the actual lights that night. T.R. Miller fans will get their turn next year. Fortunately that problem does not exist locally.
Quarterback club members: They put together football programs that rival many college football media guides.
Sound systems that are loud and clear: Can't say that has been the case everywhere I've gone.
Concession stand workers: They may not get to see much, if any of the action. Instead they help make everybody's trip to the game a tasty one.
Winning programs: True, both T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal had their respective football seasons come to a close quicker than they would have liked this fall, but many schools across the state would be glad to switch places in a heartbeat. Winning also makes the stories easier to write on this end as well.