Sunday, August 25, 2013

Region preview is ultimate guessing game

On Sunday online and in Monday's print edition was my annual region-by-region playoff projections for our high school football preview.

With every team 0-0 and no way of knowing how teams will respond to new personnel, adversity and game situations all unique on to themselves, it's admittedly and obviously total guesswork.

I know how seriously people take it, and I strive to match those expectations with my level of research. Sometimes, projections are right on the money. Others couldn't be further off base for whatever reason. Either way, it's commonly interpreted as a form of respect.

In the office, I'm fond of telling the story about a year during which a News-Herald area team was not projected to be a factor in its region, either as one of the four favorites or as one of the eight contenders. After the fact, it came to light that the coach took the region preview, made copies of it and put it up in each player's locker - classic bulletin board material. For the record, I was right about that team, which finished around .500 and was out of playoff contention by Week 8.

The point is, whether you believe your team is getting the respect it deserves or not, we can all agree what matters much more than that is getting on the field and letting things play out there.

We can all prognosticate, but reality trumps it all.

Best of luck to all N-H area teams this fall, and let's see how close this dart gets to the bull's-eye.

- Chris Lillstrung | @CLillstrungNH


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