For many diehard NFL fans, the most excruciating portion of the season is surviving the preseason games. Not because they are incredibly boring and you end up watching your second and third stringers for a majority of the contest, but because you aren’t necessarily seeing your favorite team perform to their maximum potential and are probably enduring through some pretty rough football.
As fans we are so emotionally charged when it comes to our favorite football teams that we cannot fathom being down 28-3 at halftime of a meaningless preseason game in August, even though everyone around us keeps saying that the game doesn’t even count.
The same rule should apply to the parents and fans that attended any of the three MISD spring football games this past week. In each of the three intersquad scrimmages it appeared as though the offenses struggled mightily while the defenses were already ready for August. While you can certainly tip your hat to each school’s respective defense for putting up great numbers in each game, the spring game is not the focal point of the spring season for head coaches and their staffs when they evaluate their roster this summer.
For head coaches Don Drake (Boyd), Mike Fecci (North), and Jeff Smith (MHS), what most parents and fans couldn’t see on the practice field the past three weeks and what their players were able to show on tape during those 15-18 workouts will be what determines who is starting in August and who is purely a reliable backup. Coaches review the practice film constantly to observe individual matchups and position drills all spring season long and well into the summer. And while they want to see their players go out and perform at a high level in front of mom, dad, their girlfriends and their friends during these spring games, the glorified and sometimes oddly scored scrimmage very rarely determines who wins what position battle or which side of the ball needs the most work.
Maybe it is our society today that causes us to expect perfection or at least close to it out of our favorite sports teams, regardless of what level of play it may be. But the fact remains that sometimes timing and situations are very important to realize and understand to avoid becoming emotionally irrational about the status of your team. It would be very easy for me to sit up here and say the McKinney Boyd’s offense could struggle mightily in 2012 based on just one offensive touchdown scored all game last Thursday night, but I wasn’t there for each practice the last three weeks and I don’t know what the Broncos were trying to accomplish by the end of the game. For all we know, all Drake may have wanted to get done with his offense was get the snap counts down and work on handoffs and pitches and build some confidence in his guys that they can get the little stuff down. We simply do not know.
So while there may be many parents and alumni sitting at home this weekend pondering what August and beyond could bring for their respective high school football program because their team didn’t look very good in the spring game, listen to that guy who keeps yelling in your ear that the game doesn’t count. Trust the coaches and trust the players to continue to work hard during the summer through Performance Course or private workouts. If the beginning of August rolls around and the first scrimmage of the year versus a team not wearing the same colors as your own goes the same way as this week’s spring game went, then you might be able to hit the panic button. Until then, find the positives in how the players performed and be excited about those, because if you know anything about football it is that football coaches aren’t scared to tell you what you did wrong. So don’t worry folks, all of your concerns will quickly be addressed in film study.
Until we get to August, keep listening to that guy in your ear and just relax. Before you know it, the magic of Friday nights will be back in McKinney, Texas once again. 93 days and counting. Here’s to hoping it gets here in a flash.