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Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Twelfth Man Comes to the Valley…

Valley supportThis should come as no surprise. Football is a tradition in the Valley. The Ripple reminds its readers that right here in Tualco a hard fought contest played out two years ago last New Year’s Day (“Are you ready for some football: From The Ripple’s Sports Page,” 1/3/2012). The first annual Valley Pasture Bowl pitted Teams Blue and Yellow, both of the semi-semi Pro league, against each other in a championship game played on real turf, the gridiron trimmed and fertilized in the off season by five beef cattle. If truth be told, better make that half a game. Come half time most players were on the injured/disabled/played out list and unanimously elected to sit out the second half indoors huddled up, no doubt, in front of the big screen t.v. , reduced to mere spectators of the sport. The Ripple, in attendance to gather the news, was ecstatic with their decision; January 1st was a chilly day and because the story had moved indoors, Gladys and I lost no time seeking  indoor shelter and warmth ourselves…she in the garage…me by the woodstove.

Today a light breeze leaned against me on my Valley walk. As I approached the Van Hulles’ residence, something caught my eye: a large flag swung from a 2 x 4 flag staff nailed to Tony’s greenhouse. As the breeze caught the cloth, the flag fluttered and billowed. The bold number 12 stood out against a field of blue. I smiled as I watched the familiar ensign rise and fall. Yes, Tualco is ready and waiting for more football. As the hours wind down to kick off time, it appears the spirit of the Twelfth Man is alive and well right here in our Valley. And this time the game won’t be played in a pasture. Let’s hope it won’t quit at halftime either.

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