Driving to Millersville last Saturday afternoon to cover the Manheim Central boys soccer team’s L-L League quarter-final round playoff game afforded me some time to reflect.
It’s that annual time of the year when you expect some playoff craziness. As if getting through the fall season, period, with the number of high school sports there are on the athletic fields isn’t crazy enough.
Thinking ahead to the following Tuesday is inevitable. It’s actually one of the busiest, most hectic and nerve-wracking deadline days of the year for me and Ephrata Review sports editor Todd Ruth. The degree of anxiety it causes depends on the number of teams we have competing in the playoffs that night.
We know cross country is a given every year. But let’s see – we could find ourselves covering L-L field hockey semi-finals, L-L boys soccer semi-finals, L-L girls soccer semi-finals and the PIAA Eastern Regional Golf Tournament.
As reporters, we’re supposed to be objective. We don’t pick a side, but deep down we enjoy seeing our local teams have success. After all, we get to know the athletes and the coaches and it’s natural to want to see them do well.
This brings me to my point.
I’ll never claim to be the smartest person alive. Just ask my wife about the Famous Morgan Lasagna Dinner of 1999. It has many layers to the story. But why in the Wide, Wide, Wide World of Sports can’t the head honchos who oversee playoff scheduling break things up a little bit so that everything is not held on Tuesday? Why not have a couple of the sports play their semi-final and final rounds on Monday and Wednesday?
Maybe I’m wrong, but there may be scenarios where fans and spectators would pay a couple of bucks on Monday to watch one game and then go out again on Tuesday to watch another. Under the current format, those people have to choose one over the other.
Just to give you one example: Lancaster Mennonite and Conestoga Valley both had its boys and girls soccer teams in the L-L playoffs. On Tuesday, both of the Buckskins’ teams were at Penn Manor, but the Blazers were at two different sites.
It also makes more sense from the standpoint of providing the media coverage that these playoff teams deserve. Besides the idea of helping us scribes keep our sanity a little bit longer by not piling every playoff game into one day, it would also be a benefit to the communities who have teams in the playoffs.
If I can speak on behalf of my brethren at the daily newspaper, they were also dealing with alotting space in Wednesday’s edition to the NLCS playoff game between the Dodgers and Cardinals, the ALCS game between the Tigers and Red Sox, in addition to breaking news from the Barnstormers. Frankly, there’s only so much space to go around.
For what it’s worth, it’s just one man’s opinion. After all, those trips to Millersville give you a lot of time to think.
More MADNESS, page B-9