Writer’s Block: Friday Night Sounds

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

History was made Tuesday night at Wrigley Field as the Chicago Cubs clinched the NL Division Series, winning a post-season series for the first time ever. They broke a streak that stood for over a century and also knocked the St. Louis Cardinals — the 2011 World Series champs — out of contention in just four games.

All that by itself is shocking enough. And surely, Chicagoans are still giddy with elation as they celebrate. One of the other interesting things that happened Tuesday night, however, was that the cheers of the crowd could be heard over a mile away from the stadium.

The high-decibel hoorays made news themselves, but I first heard about it when a Midwestern friend mentioned it to me. I jokingly responded back, saying, “That sounds like every Friday night in Texas.” My comment was initially in jest, meant to be slightly hyperbolic, but as I sat and thought about it for a minute more, I realized it was true.

I grew up about a mile away from a high school and from a town’s football stadium, and indeed, as the sun rose hot and humid during the dog days of summer every August, the beat of drums and the shrill notes of brass instruments could clearly be heard every afternoon as the marching band practiced.

As the school year started up and battles began to be waged on the gridiron, stadium lights casted white glows into the night sky and the sounds of the games could clearly be heard, too. Choruses of “oh” floated through the air, mingling with the chirps of crickets and the hum of cicadas. If the wind was blowing just right, I could clearly hear the game caller announcing who carried that ball, made the tackle, or what down it was.

My town was not an exception, however. All across the Valley, and even across the state as a whole, towns small and large experience the same thing. Sometimes I forget that fervent fandom on a regular basis isn’t always the norm everywhere else. But high school football reigns supreme in the Lone Star State, does it not?

For me, the sounds of the game have always been a comforting presence to me, like the muted hum of traffic on nearby highways or the quiet susurrus of the breeze whispering through palm trees.  They’re the sounds of my childhood. They’re the sounds of happiness, safety and familiarity.

What are your favorite parts of the Friday night lights? Let us know online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.

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