There’s no better place to watch a game than on the sideline.
For me, being able to stand on the sideline is like getting a behind-the-scenes tour at Disney World.
As I’ve written before, I never played sports as a kid, and I didn’t even found them fun to watch until right after high school.
Now, however, I’ve attended a number of sporting events (professional and otherwise) as both a fan and a reporter.
While watching a game is fun, nothing compares to being in “the thick of it,” so to speak.
The experience is different when you’re on the sideline.
For starters, a team’s morale is totally on display — something you can only piece together if you’re watching a game from the stands.
You can keep your hi-def TVs or your stadium seating. Being up close and personal is the way to go –whether the game is indoors or outdoors, hot or cold, rain or shine.
It doesn’t matter what sport it is. Being on the sideline — even as a reporter — feels like you’re a part of the game.
With every hit on the field, every completed pass or fourth-down stop, you can feel it in your bones — almost like watching a Blue Angel jet soar overhead during an airshow.
You can see every emotion, hear every play call and examine every minute detail the game has to offer.
Take Friday’s high school football game between Northview and Cottondale for example. In the midst of a high-stakes, all-or-nothing game, the energy level on both sides was palpable.
You could see the fight and determination in the eyes of the players, the confidence in the coaches and, ultimately, the anguish of falling in the final seconds after coming so close to repeating as a region champion.
Of course, you also could see a couple of questionable calls — including a game-changing Northview interception in the final two minutes that was ruled defensive pass interference.
But then again, I’m no official, and the play happened on the opposite sideline.
And I’ll gladly tell you: The sideline is the best seat in the house.
Fall All-Area Team
I love this time of year.
Families are making holiday plans, kitchens are filled with the tantalizing aroma of delicious delicacies and, of course, Christmas is right around the corner.
Even sports events are given an extra “oomph” this time of year. Look at Sunday’s NFL game between the Patriots and the Broncos, college basketball tournaments and — of course — college football rivalry week.
Yes, sports fans have a lot to be thankful for, and high school sports fans especially do.
Take a gander at Thursday’s sports section, and you’ll see why as the News Journal reveals its 2013 Fall All-Area Sports Awards.
Players and coaches will be recognized in golf, cross country, swimming and volleyball (football fans will have to wait until Christmas Day).
This year’s award winners had dominating performances this season. Six of our Players of the Year advanced to the state championships in their respective sports, four of them had finishes in the top 10 at state competitions and two of them won state championships.