Sunday, September 23, 2007


So many of Connecticut's baby-boomer sports fans have complained to me that the atmosphere surrounding high school football games is nothing like it used to be.

Indeed, even the New Britain with its legendary past doesn't attract the kind of crowds that it did even a few short years ago. Some venues have literally been reduced to family and friends. With the advent of blogs, talk radio and blanket coverage of national and even regional sports, the hometown has fallen off the radar, and I find it very sad.

But I did find a venue on Friday night that was alive. With New Britain on the road at Windsor, the hometown folks filled the grandstands and supported their team with a passion that I rarely see these days. Sure New Britain has its wonderful marching band but neither the student body nor the community rallies behind the 'Canes anymore.

I was at Newington Thursday (the game was moved back a day in observance of the Jewish New Year) and despite having one of the state's best running backs (Nathan Pagan) and a team that is drawing votes in state polls, the grandstands were nearly empty enough to hear a pin drop.

It's doubtful that we'll ever recapture the excitement of heading on over to the football field for a dose of community spirit like we did when life was simpler. It's a slice of Americana that has withered away and died here in central Connecticut and we're much worse off as a result.

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