Wednesday, November 2, 2016
It Once Took Place On A Thursday
Photo courtesy of LISD
Laredo's storied rivalry is getting a lot of attention as Martin and Nixon prepare to do battle on the football field once again. To promote good sportsmanship, I suppose, coaches, football players, and cheerleaders from both schools were treated to breakfast at a reception hall next to La Posada Hotel yesterday.
The morning event is apparently known as the "Friendship Breakfast." And the game itself is now billed as "The Hammer Bowl." That title not only bestows a certain gravitas on the final game of the season; but the winner has the honor of receiving a blunt force object as a token for their victory.
I appreciate the fact that district officials are promoting goodwill between foes, but the cues that are being put in front of us have a more hostile character.
Photo courtesy of KGNS (Ryan Bailey)
The whole spectacle is being presented like it's a boxing main event. I think it's all a bit over the top.
We had fun when it was our turn to go up against our crosstown rivals, but I don't remember it reaching this kind of fever pitch. The most I recall from the 80s is having a bonfire the week of the game. And then on the eve of the match, we would load up on a flat bed (semi truck) and parade through the neighborhood, making a lot of noise in the nearest barrio.
Now the game is going to be shown live on the CW channel. It's all fine and good, but what does that do for the psyche of the Cigarroa student body. The 3rd LISD high school is not even an afterthought this time of year.
Perhaps this extravaganza is appropriate for this day and age. The pomp that has evolved in the last ten, fifteen years, however, has certainly made this more than what it actually is: just another game. What will it look like ten years from now, though?
Stylized game aside, let's look back at some of this game's history.
Shirley Field became the official site of the rivalry game in the mid 1970s.
In the fall of 1988, the Martin/Nixon game coincided with the release of "Rattle and Hum" at a local movie theater. (That one is a useless bit of trivia)
In 1993, then-Superintendent Vidal Trevino cancelled the game. (See photo for details; via La Pitahaya)
After that season, for safety's sake, games would take place on Saturday afternoons.
In June of 2008, the football schedule revealed that the Martin/Nixon game would be played on August 30, due to Nixon's designation as Class 4A.
In 2009, the event took place on a Thursday. On a Thursday!
In November 2010, the game was played at the UISD Student Activity Complex. The new Shirley Field was still not ready.
May the best team win.