“The inches we need are everywhere around us.
They are in every break of the game every minute, every second...
On this team, we fight for that inch.
On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch.
We CLAW with our fingernails for that inch.
Because we know .. when we add up all those inches that’s going to make the difference between WINNING and LOSING.”
— Al Pacino (Coach Tony D’Amato)
Any Given Sunday
After months of lifting, running and chalk talk, offseason workouts and squaring off against each other in practice, Friday night — the real thing — finally arrived for Michiana’s prep football players.
It was time to lace ‘em up and get it on when it counts, as the 2013 season kicked off in earnest around the area.
It certainly did not feel like a late summer Friday night as I made my way over to Nappanee to watch what is usually a great rivalry game between Jimtown and NorthWood. The term “The Boys of Fall” seemed especially applicable Friday night, as the game-time temperature at NorthWood was a very fall-like 76.
Over the years, I’ve gotten used to opening night temperatures in the 90s, with that wonderful stifling Midwest humidity we’ve all come to know and hate.
So Friday night’s mild temperatures were a welcome change.
On the field, however, the action was hot, as NorthWood got out to a 21-7 lead over the Jimmies — who were ranked No. 3 in Class 3A by the panel of Indiana media representatives — including myself — that puts together the Associated Press poll.
The Jimmies, however, rallied late and missed tying the game in the final two minutes by inches as a PAT attempt clanged off the left goalpost.
Football truly is a game of inches ... as Al Pacino’s iconic Coach Tony D’Amato so eloquently (and sometimes profanely) pontificated in the movie “Any Given Sunday.”
And if a ball clanging off a goalpost doesn’t illustrate that concept, perhaps nothing will.