I recently attended the homecoming football game where the Montezuma Braves were narrowly defeated, 55-50, by the neighboring BGM Bears. As a first-time observer of eight-man football, a long-ago former high school teacher and football coach, and lifelong resident of Des Moines, I offer the following observations:
1. The quality of football played was much better than I anticipated. 2. The press box announcer is worthy of any accolades he might receive. 3. The a cappella singer of the National Anthem has excellent pitch. 4. The concession stand is run with efficiency that would make Henry Ford proud, and 5. The community supports its young people.
Collectively, these items made for a very enjoyable evening worthy of the two-and-a-half-hour round trip. However, I would be remiss if I failed to share the most impressive part of the evening—when the aforementioned announcer asked all in attendance to “Please rise, remove your hats, and turn your attention to the center of the field as colors are presented, and to the west end of the field, as we raise the flag, and honor our country with the singing of the National Anthem.” This was immediately followed by a recitation of The Preamble to the US Constitution, the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, and The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. It was then that we heard the National Anthem. I am proud to say that I recited The Preamble, the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, and Pledge of Allegiance in unison with the announcer, courtesy of my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Helen Reeves. When the Anthem was over I turned to my friend (his son was announced as the Homecoming King) and inquired if this was the routine for all home football games. He said it was. I asked if anyone ever kneels for the Anthem. He smiled and replied, “Not in a small town.”
Thank you, Montezuma, for a wonderful evening of football. Thank you for supporting your youth, and Thank you for remembering and perpetuating the founding principles of this country. You are now my favorite place to watch a football game.