Fall has definitely started on the calendar and evidenced by the fall color tour showcased on our trees as you drive around the Copper Country.
Another sure sign of fall is that all of our students are back from Michigan Tech and Finlandia to the local public schools. For me, this means that I'm hard at work teaching what I hope are the great minds of tomorrow at Finlandia while hoping that my children soon enough will fall into the category as they move from high school to the college ranks.
Yes, I know I'm getting ahead of myself with my oldest not graduating until 2014, but it is on my mind. What's perplexing me this fall is what appears to be a lack of enthusiasm at both the college level and at the junior high level, something I've noticed at my place of work and at my youngest child's basketball games. I was a Lake Linden Hubbell graduate, which makes me an alumnus and a former Whiz Kid.
When I was in school, we cheered loudly at every sporting event to show our school pride. We wore T-shirts that held the records of our football teams and I even had a Whiz Kid winter cap, or chook as us Yoopers call them.
My allegiance is now with Finlandia University as an employee and a Lion, and I'm also now a Jeffers Jet supporting my children's efforts. What this means to me is that at work I "bleed blue." I wear a Finlandia shirt at minimum of two days a week. Each year, I buy new shirts to show my pride in my university. The sporting seasons are just getting rolling, and I'm getting ready to yell at games and encourage our athletes as they compete. I also joined the school play; time will tell if I succeed or fail but it's all in the name of school spirit.
As I said, I now root for the Jets, those Jeffers Jets, as a father in the stands watching seventh grade girls basketball that at times is good and then not so good. These girls are learning and as the weeks go by, I see their enthusiasm growing, from a quiet "go jets" to the more rowdy "GO JETS" when they break their huddle after a time out. What I'd like to see is more cheering from the stands, (besides my comments to the refs); let's do a wave or stomp our feet when the other team is shooting free throws.
I'm writing this on Tuesday, the day after in Packer Land where an offensive pass interference was ignored, costing the Packers the game. On Facebook, the comments were numerous on how we should strike, no more games until the "real" referees are back; that wouldn't be right, we're born to cheer. My basketball days are on a long rehabbing break so yes, I am living vicariously through my daughters games until I can drag my old legs and odd shooting style back to the court where no one is cheering except the guys at noon ball.
So in the meantime, I will bleed blue and yell "Go Jets" and question every call on the court with great enthusiasm, because life only gives us so many moments to cheer. I'm a Whiz Kid, a Finlandia Lion, and a Jeffers Jet. Who do you cheer for? Make the time and go support your teams and oh, by the way, I'm an Oakland Raiders fan. Just win baby.
Brian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.