Surprise.

Last night I filmed at Garinger.  Garinger?  Sound familiar?  Do you remember the one-way circle speed bump infested asphalt moat?  Do you remember this face:

Parking Attendants!

That was Garinger, one positive this time was that I was sure the game was at Garinger before going there.  Regardless I enjoy the work, and it’s the only work I have, so I was happy to go film it.

A few web sites said the game was at 8:00, which I found odd so I double-checked and a couple of other sites said it was at 7:00.  After a pregame meal with Her Sweetness at Bojangles, I headed to the game.

Mmmmmmm, this stuff.

I got there at 6:30 to be safe, but found out at the gate that it was in fact starting at 8:00.  The home and away bleachers were relatively the same size, but there was a press box with roof access that I was hoping to film from.  I made my way up a rickety stair case behind the press box to see if there was anyone around to give me permission and access.  I opened the door and walked into what I’m guessing was an ROTC storage room.  Either that or there’s an underground militia forming at Garinger, I’ll be on the lookout.  Upon seeing the camouflage and army helmets strewn about, I spun around and just waited for someone important-looking to ask.  I tracked down a Garinger coach walking off the field after warm-ups at about 7:35.  He kindly granted me access and I made my way up to the roof.  I went through the militia hideout, through the press box, and up a ladder that I probably exceeded the weight limit of.  There’s nothing like scaling a flimsy, narrow ladder with my livelihood (video camera/tripod) dangling from my neck.

Cut. It. Out.

I should mention that I spent some of my waiting time coming up with names for my camera and tripod.  I’m leaning toward Candace Cameran and Captain Trips.

Upon arriving on the roof, I set up my tripod and camera only to realize that there was a metal sign on top of the press box that my camera was not going to clear.  I found a chair and set one tripod leg on that and two on the railing to no avail.  It was about 7:50 at this point and I quickly decided to hustle over to the away bleachers and film from there, because there were still open seats in the top few rows.

I made it over in time for kickoff.  One disappointment was that the National Anthem was a recording played over the PA.  I thought, “There’s not one musician, kazooist, anyone that can entertain me a little bit?”  To boot, it was just a run of the mill recording.  If you’re not going to give me a live musician, at least throw on the Whitney Houston version.  At the start of the game there were no bands to be seen.  The Garinger band didn’t make their way to the stands until there were 8 minutes remaining in the second quarter.  Rocky River had no band at all.

I knew nothing about Rocky River heading into the game, but I gathered from watching them, and the lack of a band, that it was either a new program or new coaching staff.  There was a bit of disorganization that just didn’t seem right.  Some Googling this morning informed me that the school itself is new, so there you go.  The Rocky River Ravens were huddled in the end zone doing their pregame breakdown, while coaches, the officials, and Garinger were ready to kick off.  This happened a few times during the game following time outs, and there were several times when Rocky River only had 10 players on the field.  At one point following a time out, Garinger was ready to run a play and Rocky River wasn’t out of their sideline huddle yet.  Garinger’s coaches were yelling at the offense to run the play, but I think they were so caught off guard that they didn’t know what their assignments were without someone standing in front of them to block.

As is becoming the standard, most big plays were called back, except Garinger’s first touchdown.  I’m not sure of the yardage, but it was a pass and catch of about 70 yards for the games opening score.  I won’t say that Garinger dominated, but the game wasn’t close.  To the dismay of their fans, Rocky River’s coaches kept calling a hitch/screen play that just wasn’t working at all.  Even down 7-0, they just didn’t seem interested in running the ball.  Their defense held up nicely, though, keeping the game close, but it just wasn’t happening on offense.  At one point in the 3rd quarter with the game still close, Rocky River recovered a fumble, only to give the ball right back to Garinger on the very next play.  Garinger went up 21-0 following a safety and started running the ball to milk the clock.  The Ravens scored a late touchdown to make the score 21-7 and that was all she wrote.

Two side notes:  First, I forgot until halftime that the Garinger band is the band that played Christopher Cross’ “Sailing” as part of their halftime show.  They played it again, it made me smile.  Second, I managed to find another parking lot and avoid the one-way circle speed bump infested asphalt moat.  To the footage!

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