Sunday, November 6, 2011

No. 32 will go down in history

These crazy first fall Saturdays in November every year - with Week 11 playoff football, regional final volleyball and soccer and state cross country - already have their place of fear among staffers at The News-Herald.

This particular edition, though, will be one I will not soon forget because of just how crazy it was - on my 32nd birthday no less.

Here's a quick recap:

- Watched Mayfield, our No. 1 area boys soccer team all year, lose a heartbreaker to St. Ignatius, 2-1, in overtime, with raw emotion understandably pouring out from the area squad, and that's always tough from a human standpoint

- Asked two Mayfield students how they were doing despite them not asking me initially even though I thought they were and getting a weird stare in the process

- Talked to Hawken boys soccer coach Dani Giulvezan on my cell in the car about the Hawks' 3-0 win over Doylestown Chippewa while in a traffic jam until a Rocky River policeman thankfully intervened and got cars moving (I wanted the cars to get moving, mind you - not Dani)

- Tried to figure out how to make it from a 3 p.m. soccer match at Rocky River that I left close to 5:30 p.m. to a 7 p.m. football game at Berlin Center Western Reserve (Mahoning County) in an hour and change legally

- Made great time down the Ohio Turnpike to the Lordstown exit that I needed - until the self-pay toll machine wouldn't accept tickets from the person in front of me and I and we had to use the truck driver's window, which meant opening the door, standing on my toes and feeding the ticket in, which had to make for funny surveillance video in what became a 15-minute process while pressed for time

- Finally made it to Berlin Center with 10 minutes to spare, and let's just say not a moment too soon for a certain reason to which we can all relate

- Watched the area team, VASJ, unfortunately go about 2 1/2 quarters between first downs in a 33-6 loss

- Had a "fool proof" plan to use the free wifi at a Turnpike rest stop on the way back to send my two game stories, only to discover at 11 p.m. the wireless didn't work, so I was stuck

- In turn, N-H clerk Jim Finlayson was very kind in taking dictation from me over the phone so our page layout people could get my stories at a decent hour

- Not doing my video analysis of Mayfield-Iggy until 12:30 a.m. - more than seven hours after the match ended

- Not eating anything for 12 hours from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.

And then finally being done.

Special thanks to those who wished me a happy 32nd, and if you'll excuse me, I'm counting Sunday as my unofficial birthday now.

Sometimes, this is not a glamorous life, and this scenario on my birthday no less proves it.

- Chris Lillstrung


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