Disclaimer. These articles are submitted Friday afternoon. Life gets busy, and I will occasionally miss my extended deadline. I often leave my lovely editor hanging. Those are never my intentions, kids. I sometimes struggle with part-time mobile freelance procrastination. There are so many great stories to share. Unfortunately, I simply need to do a better job of preparing. One of these days, I will figure it out.
By now, week three of the high school football season is in the books. So instead of recapping each game several days later, I tend to rebuke. I sincerely hope that everything went well and many of you got a chance to “tune in.” I take pride in being a play-by-play broadcaster. My mom always told me that I had a face for online streaming. I will always get several inquiries when I am shaking hands in the stands. Most folks know that I am a basketball guy, but they are totally puzzled when I plug in my headset. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT FOOTBALL? — is a popular and trending topic. Look, guys. I have been calling games for the past 20 years. Here is my resume. Yes. I have one here in my pocket.
First, let me say that I am thrilled to be a part of a great team. Jimmy Webb and the Webb Weekly provide a great platform, and they deserve applause. We send two crews to two games each week. We try to cover everyone at least once. While Paul Bo and Rich Zalonis usually follow the mighty Millionaires, Mark Mussina and I travel elsewhere. Online streaming is so important during the pandemic. We try to bring you fans all the action that we can. I ain’t going to lie, folks. It is great seeing all the crowds, cheerleaders, parents, and bands. It is hard to remember last year when there was literally no one in the stands.
Yes. We are not on the radio. We are online. The picture is perfect, and the commentators are alright. Sorry, Grandma. You need a computer or a mobile device to follow. Our games are LIVE via YouTube and can be viewed across the world. I love hearing the feedback from old friends who are tuning in from other states. One of my chums recently gave me some love all the way from Japan. So, I don’t pay much attention to their comments. It is just nice to know that they are watching the stream.
So back to the question that was proposed. Yes. Besides broadcasting, I actually know a few things about football. No one could beat me in Madden or SUPER TECMO. OK. I only played one year of organized ball at Curtin Middle School. I was a third-string receiver and a fourth-string corner. My playing time was VERY limited, but I took pride in being a tackling dummy at practice. Coach Bobby Lynn always said I had great hands, but he was concerned for my personal safety. We were a running team like most junior high squads. Coach Lynn didn’t use signals or fancy note cards. He used us receivers to call in the plays. Out of 50 downs, we would throw the ball maybe once.
I finally got an opportunity. We had a few injuries and a ton of disciplinary problems. I was moving up the depth chart. Coach grabbed me by the facemask and said BLUE RIGHT 34 BLAST. My first bit of real action. I was so excited. I went into block. I hustled to the huddle but forgot the call. I turned to our quarterback and quickly improvised. BLUE RIGHT 50Z GO. There I was on the very top of the formation. We ran the ball the previous 22 times, and I’m thinking Lycoming Valley didn’t see me as a threat. Our QB dropped back to throw. Everyone was shocked. I could only imagine Coach’s reaction. I didn’t look. I was concentrating on my pattern. I ran to the corner of the end zone. Again. I was all alone. A tight spiral was heading my way. The ball seemed to be in the air forever. It was dead silent. You could hear a pin drop. I said a quick prayer and somehow managed to catch it. TOUCHDOWN JAMIE SPENCER. Mr. Bassett dropped my name. The crowd went absolutely wild.
Coach Bobby Lynn and I are still friends. He will occasionally officiate some of my hoops games. We both laugh and remember that particular moment. I decided to hang up my helmet the following season. I wanted to concentrate more on golf. It was a good move for everyone involved. Cheers.