Wednesday, September 05, 2012

2012 City League Preview Week 2


     Now, Your City League Advocate is one who tolerates a lot of things. As he is fast approaching the big 5-0 in a few short days, The Advocate has to take it easy when rendering his admittedly flawed opinion on most subjects of the day, hence he spikes his already high blood pressure.
     And considering that the annual festival of wanton excess, unhealthy living, and general naughtiness that is the annual Birthday Bacchanal and Clam Bake is coming up soon, the Advocate has to save his limited energy for more important and engaging pursuits, like judging the myriad of promising entries in the Most Lethal Concoction Contest, or rounding up willing contestants and victims...er, uh assistants in the Catch the Virgin Race, or making sure that the crack security detail consisting of an unlikely combination of ex-Navy Seals, retired SWAT team operatives, and members of the local Hell's Honeys motorcycle club can work together to keep an eye out for the local gendarmes, if and when they decide to cruise by the undisclosed location.
     Not so much to keep the boys in blue away, but to discreetly inform the Advocate of their arrival so that he can insure that the requisite donations to the Policeman's Benevolence Association are made out in the proper amounts and given to the correct people.
     Many of the subjects that the Advocate opines upon are well beyond his limited knowledge of just about everything. But like many pundits have proven over the years, the lack of knowledge about a subject doesn't stop Your City League Advocate from rendering an opinion about them. As a matter of fact, The Advocate has learned from his many readers that uninformed opinions tend to be the most entertaining, and Your City League Advocate would not be performing his high calling to the best of his ability if he didn't entertain his followers.
     The bone of contention that is baking Your City League Advocate's biscuits this week has to do with Thursday night high school football. The Advocate listened to a podcast recently hosted by two of the local high school football pundits that ply their trade for the local fishwrap. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. These two gentlemen, Mike White and Terry Shields, host a weekly podcast where they talk about the high school football scene and break down the upcoming big games in the WPIAL and City League.
     All in all, they do a very good job. In the latest edition of the podcast, Mr. White and Mr. Shields tell their audience about the deal between Root Sports (formerly Fox Sports Pittsburgh) and the WPIAL to televise certain high profile games on Thursday nights. Which the Advocate has no problem with.
     But what frosts the Advocate's wedding cake is the implied suggestion that somehow, playing football on Thursday nights is something that is exclusive to the WPIAL and Root Sports and that it has never been done before, and/or isn't done anywhere else. And this further perpetuates the belief that if the WPIAL doesn't do it, or hadn't thought of it, then it doesn't exist, or isn't worth doing.
      To which, the Advocate has to raise his hackles and protest most strenuously, that the City League has been playing football on Thursday nights for over 20 years. Every since the Pittsburgh Public Schools decided rightly or wrongly to move all football games to Cupples Stadium back in the late 80's, football has been played on Thursday nights.
      Now the Advocate will concede the point that the City League plays on Thursday nights out of necessity, and the WPIAL/Root Sports co-op does it to showcase matchups that stand out from the rest of the pack. 
      And he also concedes that in most cases, the best City matchups don't always play on Thursday nights. And that the crowds on Thursday nights at the George won't come close to the turnouts that come out to see two top WPIAL teams play.
      But for the WPIAL to act as if they invented Thursday night football is ludicrous. Give credit where it is due. The City League has been doing Thursday night football long before the WPIAL even conceived of the idea.
     Okay, enough ranting about the provincialism of the WPIAL. On to the weekend past and weekend upcoming in Everyone's Favorite Little Football League.

     The City League opened their season last weekend with all but University Prep in action against schools from outside the area. And as expected, all five teams ended up losing.
     The only City squad that gave a credible performance was Brashear, who hosted Slippery Rock and hung tough with the Rockets from Dist 10 until a 1 yard run with 41 seconds left in the game from Slippery Rock's Ryan Currie broke a 26-26 tie and handed them the win. Bulls QB Russell Page went 14-23 for 254 yds and three TD's plus a rushing score. DaBulls next game is on September 7, when they travel down to West By-Gawd Virginia to take on Wheeling Park who are 1-1 on the season. The Advocate is tempted to ask the Brashear coaches to head over to the dog track and lay a fiver on a dog named Gimpy running in the sixth race. The Advocate has it on good authority that this pup is a dead cert. The fact that it only has three legs, is blind in one eye, and will hump anything in sight apparently has no effect on its performance.
     Perry headed up to Veterans Memorial in Erie, a venue they are more than familiar with to face the Ramblers of Cathedral Prep, an opponent they are more than familiar with. And ECP didn't hesitate in letting the Commodores know how much they missed their rivals from Pittsburgh by handing them a 56-6 beatdown. Perry's lone score came on a 1 -yard run by Ahmad Turner. Perry will next take to the road traveling 301 miles across I-80 to play St. Pius X of Bangor, PA. The Royals were crushed in their home opener 61-0 to perennial power Southern Columbia.
     The Allderdice Dragons headed down to Morgantown to play the Mohigans and were outclassed 32-13. Chazzy Thomas scored three touchdowns for Morgantown and rushed 15 times for 204 yds. The 'Dice's two scores came off an 89 yd kick return by Antonio Thomas and a 1 yd rushing TD by Matt Yarbough. The Dragons will come home to host the Linsly Cadets who lost their first game of the season 33-19, to Parkersburg South. The last time Allderdice and Linsly tied up, the Cadets whipped the Dragons 41-6 in West VA.
     Carrick took on Grove City and was blanked 40-0. The Eagles rushed for 269 yards and passed for 119, scoring 5 touchdowns on the ground and one through the air. Next up for the Raiders, will be an 111 mile trip down I-70 for a road game against Chestnut Ridge which is a AA school out of New Paris, PA. The Lions are 0-1, losing 51-20 to Central out of Martinsburg.
     The Westinghouse Bulldogs headed into the Buckeye State to play Buckeye Local and were defeated 24-6. The Big Bads next game is against Wheeling Central Catholic who is 1-1 after losing their last game to Weirton Madonna.
     University Prep finally gets to start their season after waiting too long to put their schedule together, and having to scramble to find games at the last minute. The Wildcats will be heading 288 miles up I-79 and I-90 into Rochester, NY to take on the Little Irish of Aquinas Institute. Aquinas is 1-0 on the season winning their opener 44-7 over St. Francis. Aquinas is listed in the top 5 in New York according to Max Preps, and finished last season 10-2. One of the marquee games on their schedule is a game against Erie Prep on Oct 12.

     As you can see, City League teams are traveling far and wide to find quality opponents. This is the second week in a row that City squads are playing non-conference opponents, and City League play will start the weekend of the 13th and 14th. Which incidentally is the weekend of the Advocate's Birthday Bacchanal and Clambake.
     The Advocate wishes that the gurus who put together the League schedule for the season would have consulted with him in regards to the logistics and difficulties of covering the City League whilst also trying desperately to keep the lid on the most infamous gathering of free-spirited whackjobs in recorded history. We're only taking about a gathering that would make Caligula's biggest debauchery look like a Sunday School picnic. How hard can it be to make allowances for the one person in this area who covers the City League with any kind of semi-professionalism? Oh well, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.