BY JEFF FALK
There were a lot of firsts at Friday’s historic Cedar Bowl XLI, perhaps the least of which was Cedar Crest taking a knee at the end of the 67-0 blowout in order to not run up the score. To this reporter’s knowledge that was the first time that had ever happened in Lebanon County’s most fierce football rivalry.
During two possessions in the game’s final five minutes, Cedar Crest reserve quarterback Josh Bucher was ordered by his sideline to take a snap from center and kneel down. During the previous 43 minutes of action, the Cedars had only stopped the Falcon offense once on their own.
The Falcons’ second-quarter point-explosion had brought the mercy rule and a continuous running clock into play at the beginning of the third stanza. But Cedar Crest dolled out its own form of mercy – or pity – by calling off the dogs.
When asked about the kneel-downs after the game, neither coach – Lebanon’s Gerry Yonchiuk or Cedar Crest’s Tom Waranavage – had a problem with it. No one wanted the Cedars to be exposed to any further perceived embarrassment.
Apparently the only person in all of Lebanon’s Alumni Stadium who had a problem with it was your’s truly. It may be that my interpretation of competing and competitiveness is a bit askew.
My interpretation of competition involves going hard all the time, from beginning whistle to final horn, doing one’s best no matter the score – or at least trying to do it. And if you are my opponent, I want the same, your best all the time.
I don’t want your pity. I don’t want your mercy. I don’t want your sympathy.
In my opinion, kneeling down at the end of a high school football game is more embarrassing, more demeaning than scores of 74-0 or 81-0.