It is never easy being the first. Take, for instance, the first-born child. He naturally has it rougher than all his siblings. The parents are inexperienced, there’s no older brother or sister to rely on for advice, and all the trouble he gets into comes as a total shock to mom and dad.
Similarly, you could look to this very article for an example of a difficult first. This is our initial stab at the Morbidly Obese Game of the Week. What is the Morbidly Obese Game of the Week, you ask? It’s the answer to all those Big Games of the Week you’ve seen from your local TV sportscasters. Big Games of the Week are all well and good, but we can go bigger. That’s where the Morbidly Obese Game of the Week comes into play.
MOGOTW is a testament to those local high school football programs that you’d otherwise never hear about. Unless some kid on the team commits a crime or has a ridiculously inspirational story of epic proportions to share with the world, you’ll never be enlightened on the Nooksack Valleys or Napavines of the world. The public opinion is that their schools are too small and too irrelevant. Frankly, I think that’s bullshit.
Everybody has a story to tell. Someone needs to step up and tell it. That’s why we’re here. And that’s why we proudly bring you the very first MOGOTW, featuring Bellevue Christian and LaConner.
Yankees-Red Sox. Michigan-Ohio State. Mariners-Padres. There are any number of heated rivalries in sports these days. None is quite as searing, however, as Vikings-Braves.
Yes, folks, I’m talking about the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Class 1A Bellevue Christian Vikings and the LaConner Braves.
When these two teams get together, you can throw out the record books. Never mind the fact that they’ve never gotten together before, nor that this is only Bellevue Christian’s third football game ever. I have seen the venom of snakes on television shows. I have experienced the poisoning effects of that venom vicariously through characters in movies. This rivalry is more caustic than that very venom upon which I’ve laid these innocent eyes. Hide your wives. Hide your children. When the Vikings and Braves take the field, chaos will ensue. These potential powerhouse programs take no prisoners. They’re playing for keeps.
So it was that the Nordic explorers came upon the Native American tribesmen on a steamy Friday evening in late September. Two ballclubs with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Scholarships weren’t on the line. Jersey chasers weren’t in hot pursuit. Endorsement deals weren’t waiting to be had. This was small school prep football at its finest. Eleven players on either side of the pigskin, going head-to-head in full contact, smashmouth football.
The contest began as one might expect a contest of this magnitude to begin. Bellevue Christian returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, putting them on pace for roughly 2,000 points in this game alone. But, alas, a 2,000-0 shutout was not to be had on this day.
Vikings quarterback Kemper McQuaid would complete 20 of 34 throws for 234 yards passing. He would fall victim to a pair of LaConner defenders, relinquishing two interceptions, while landing one touchdown toss in the hands of receiver Raj Hanstad.
The veteran presence of LaConner, which of course is Spanish for The Conner, would prove to be too much on this day, however. Behind a powerful ground game, the Braves would notch more than three dozen points and send the Vikings back to Bellevue with a 39-24 defeat.
As is often the case with sports, we try to find themes and morals in our defeats. We aggrandize the loss, because strength and character are found not in times of victory, but rather in times of adversity. We look for deeper meaning in a 15-point differential than what is presented to us on the scoreboard. We grow from the moment. We evolve. We become better.
There will be another meeting between these two rivals somewhere down the line. There will be a rematch. And in that rematch, the Vikings of Bellevue Christian will recall their prior shortcomings, channel the pain of adversity, and rise to the occasion. These are teenaged warriors. Their problems are not our problems. They absolve themselves in test scores and dances and Clearasil. They are not to be downtrodden over one bump in the road. Opportunities will present themselves anew. Success will be there for the taking.
To the LaConner Braves, congratulations.
To the Bellevue Christian Vikings, better luck next time.
Week one of our Morbidly Obese Game of the Week now in the books.