Sometimes, You Need a Mulligan
by Carey Meitzler
A great game as advertised. A great season as hoped. A great bunch of seniors surrounded by a great bunch of juniors and
sophomores. A great bunch of coaches. I think we all would agree with these statements. The unfortunate turn of events from
last Friday should not be allowed to tarnish the wonderful season for the 2006 Maroon Tide football team.
This senior bunch for the Maroon Tide is more than another team to me; they are like family. I know them inside and out, and
the fact they keep believing they could win to the very end was a tribute to their persistence. They've been through a lot since
the 8th grade and I could go on and on about them. For this article, I ‘ll just leave it as this. You guys have raised the bar on
leadership, hard work, and commitment. I will address all of that and more later this week on this site.
As a parent, I deeply appreciate what our young men accomplished this season both on and off the field. I want to thank the
individuals in the community for their support in making it a great run. For the team to have the support they've had this year
is something I will never forget and I don't think they will either. The Maroon Tide Nation was there in number and spirit
all season long. Thank you from all of the parents.
As a fan, you always want your team to go all the way. When it doesn't, it is easy to say something went wrong and so forth.
Bottom line, we had our chances and it didn't work out. In spite of giving our opponent, the top ranked team in 4A, a short
field twice that resulted in twelve points, our guys still were within reach of tying the game and sending it into overtime until
the closing seconds. No need for a mulligan here as they left it all on the field.
I finally had a chance to watch the video of the game. Yes, there were some calls that could have gone either way (always are)
and others that appeared to be questionable. The fourth down pass play was probably the one that drew the most attention
and seemed to create the most discussion. When you first look at it full speed, it appeared a catch just like it did Friday, and
with the nearest official signaling it was a catch, you'd think so as well. After reviewing it slow motion frame by frame a couple
of times, the receiver did not catch the ball. He had it, but didn't complete the catch because he didn't have it when his back
hit the ground. A great effort, but incomplete. As mentioned, the official closest to the call immediately claimed it to be a catch,
but he was talked out of it once a conference occurred. I think the reversal is what triggered Coach Lee's reaction, but I think
he was upset by a fewer other calls that he probably felt were interference just minutes before. I feel for him because he
has put a lot of time into his program and this moment is probably one that people will judge him by for a while. He works hard
and puts a quality product on the field year in and year out. Give him a mulligan.
I realize that after listening to my audio, I was in error with my emotion during this part of the game as well. To our listeners who
have always complimented us on our broadcasts, we are sorry for our account of this part of the game. The speed of the game
and what is at stake at times puts everyone in a precarious situation at times, and in this instance, we were not at our best. I think
Jason would agree as well. As a Christian, we have to admit when we make mistakes and I wanted to set the record straight that
we were wrong. It has been a tough couple of weeks with the surgery and recovery of my best friend Barry Harper, Dale's and
the seniors' splendid season on the verge of ending any moment, and the declining health of my mother. These are no excuses by
no means; just a lot of emotions that have been riding with me for the past few weeks. I always try to be a good person first, and
do my best in all aspects of work (my real job) and be a competent broadcaster each and every time out (it's not a job, just a
passion). I failed as a broadcaster for a few moments. I heard from a friend, who I trust as my best critic,and he said it was
great radio except for that few moments. This feedback was before I had listened to the entire game again, and after listening,
I agree with him. Not mine or Jason's finest moment. A mulligan needed here.
Picayune and Wayne County gave the 8,000 plus on hand a great 48 minutes of football as advertised. I hope Wayne County
can continue on and win the state 4A championship. They are a great team. They are well coached and have a lot of talented
players on both sides of the all. Their QB, Drexler Johnson, is the best high school quarterback I have watched in person after
seeing him in 2005 and 2006. He has manages the game like a seasoned college quarterback. I had a chance to meet him briefly
at Delta State this season and he appears to be a nice young man and I hope he can stay in the state and play. He may get a
chance to play Division I; if not, I think he would make a great replacement for the departing Scott Eyster in Cleveland. He
matches their offensive scheme very well from what I have observed.
As for the numerous questions that were hanging out there after this past Saturday's Sam Adkins Morning After Show , I plan
to continue to do the football and basketball games for WRJW for a couple of more years and maybe longer. I enjoy it immensely
and have made some great friendships through the time spent on and off the air. I will have one in the drum line for the next three
years and a dancer or cheerleader after that, so attending the games is a definite and besides, it is the best seat in the house when
you are there.
The decision to no longer do the Morning After was strictly a time issue. From the time I would get home on Friday nights, it takes
about 3 hours to get ready for the show with all the things we prepared from audio from the previous night's game, the scores, the
upcoming matchups, and so forth. Many of you know we tape it early (7:00am) for the 10:30am air time to allow us a chance to
have some part of a Saturday for our families. In a nutshell, it has been a labor of love to continue doing it the past few years while
running on empty many times, and in some cases, going without sleep in order to get it done. I wouldn't do it differently, so no
need for a mulligan. The emails and "thanks" from so many of you refilled the tank on many occasions. Maybe we can find someone
to pass the torch to for the show in 2007 and keep it going.
A special thanks to Barry Harper for making it so much fun for years on the Morning After show. After almost eight years together
on Fridays and another five years on the Morning After, we can almost finish each other's sentences. What he knows and observes
is always profound. His keen sense of humor is priceless. His laugh, his friendship, and his contribution to this community are invaluable.
Doing the last show live from Barry's house was very fitting because each week I think we tried to make people feel like they were
sitting in our homes having a cup of coffee discussing the games from the night before and preparing for the week ahead.
Whether Dale plays college football or not, I have decided I want to have the ability to leave town on Friday nights with the rest of
the family to either see him play or see some of his fellow seniors from this year's team play. An occasional hunting, fishing, or camping
trip could be in order as well. My friend Mark Wallace, the Southern Sportsman, says, “Get outdoors and enjoy what God has
given us.” Mark is right and there is no mulligan needed there because God is perfect and we all know that we are not.
May He Shine His Light on your path.