Since Memorial Day weekend felt like being held captive in a 24-hour car wash, I turned to local sporting events to keep me entertained and uplifted between downpours and cancelled plans. Thankfully for diehard Ram fans, the rain did not derail a couple of big rivalry games against Darien over the weekend which provided some much needed home entertainment.
With little else on the agenda for a rained-out Friday night, I found myself streaming New Canaan High School Channel 78’s impressive gamecast of the boys FCIAC volleyball championship between New Canaan and the undefeated Darien squad. I sat squinty-eyed and glued to my iPhone screen (I know, not ideal for optimal viewing, or for crows-feet wrinkle prevention) to catch the real-time event from the confines of my cozy sofa and faux-fur blanket cocoon.
The intense, fast-paced volleyball action was expertly covered with rapid fire play-by-play commentating from way-too-smooth to be high school sportscasters. I mean, when I was in high school, I could handle little more than styling my voluminous bangs to new heights (it was the ‘80s, okay?). As a student, I cannot imagine having the capacity to announce multi-sport events and deliver family-friendly chit-chat that is both factual and off-the-cuff. Their knowledge and professionalism was shockingly impressive.
Thanks to the athletes’ explosive performances and the broadcasting production prowess, I barely moved during the three sets, and probably narrowly escaped developing a blot clot. In the end, the volleyball championship went to our rivals; however, it was a great display of sportsmanship and respect between the two opponents, which was duly noted by the all-knowing NCTV 78 announcers.
Next morning, the frigid and monsoon-like conditions seemed ominous for the hyped-up girls FCIAC lacrosse championship between the Rams and the Blue Wave, but it was ‘Game On.’ Fortunately for this fair-weather fan, I cruised over to my spot on the couch, turned on the gas fireplace and streamed the smooth stylings of NCTV 78’s lacrosse broadcast—a game I barely understand.
My knowledge of lacrosse is dodgy at best. My kids and I have no experience playing the sport, so my exposure, even as a spectator, has been very limited. I know, that’s shocking, since nearly every New Canaanite seems to have been born with a lacrosse stick in their hand and commits to a college lax program before the 7th grade. As luck would have it, the high school sportscasters provided a lifeline to help guide me through the multitude of vague penalties and stoppages. Before this game, the only time I had ever heard of a “crease violation” was when my mother once critiqued my lackluster ironing skills.
Obviously, I still have a lot to learn.
Knowing a handful of girls on the New Canaan team, I was very aware that many of my friends were huddling together for warmth and cheering in the stands. Donned in foul weather gear, they did their best to ignore the horrendous conditions. I did feel a bit guilty sitting by the fireplace with warm tea in hand as I watched the livestream. Though, it was very apparent after receiving a few text messages from my spectator-friends that they would have happily sat through a hurricane, or a bomb-cyclone, just to watch their athletes whoop Darien in a wild, yet decisive, FCIAC championship game.
Both rivalry match-ups filled an entertainment void during the unseasonably cold and torrential holiday weekend. When the sun finally arrived on Memorial Day afternoon, it was a welcome relief to enjoy, and reflect, on our freedoms and to get on with the business of living (…and beating the Blue Wave). Many thanks to the athletes and the NCTV Channel 78 team for providing great sports entertainment content and for allowing this Ram fan to stay cozy.