Some things just have a unique quality about them. You can’t quite put your finger on why, but when you’re there, you get a strange feeling that somehow you’re in a pre-destined place at a pre-ordained time. Something that you can’t explain feels right and you feel like you were meant to be there at that precise moment.
You feel like you are living history in the present, and even though you don’t know why, you just know that you will have images of that moment in your mind’s eye that you won’t forget for the rest of your life. For me, being at Brickie Bowl last Friday night was one of those things.
As tempting as I found the prospect of watching my beloved alma mater, Morton, tangle with Hammond High in the biggest game in the City of Hammond in years, I was drawn to Brickie Bowl last Friday. It was a perfect night for football and it was Hobart and Lowell!
And if the Brickies ever had an opponent that exemplified Brickie Bowl football, it’s Lowell. Just like Hobart in the Don Howell years, the Red Devils like to run the football. Smash-mouth, in your face football, here’s what we do, try and stop it.
Unfortunately, my radio career narrowly missed the Don Howell era, but I have been lucky enough to broadcast several Hobart games from Brickie Bowl, including last year’s classic Sectional Championship game against Lowell; and broadcasting games like that from Brickie Bowl is a treat in and of itself.
But this was my first experience on the sidelines at Brickie Bowl, and it was awesome. The home stands were packed and the Red Devil fans nearly filled the visiting bleachers, and both sides were roaring.
It was the type of game you would expect from Hobart and Lowell: physical, tough, low scoring and right down to the wire. And as far as I’m concerned, you can’t ask for anything more.
And when Lowell went on a 19 play drive that consumed nine and a half minutes of the fourth quarter capped off by Davis Lang’s 24 yard game winning field goal with 1:09 remaining I knew that I had witnessed one of those special Brickie Bowl moments.
The history of Brickie Bowl is brimming with moments like that. When you walk into the place, you can feel the echoes of yesteryear. Just looking at the signs listing all the championships can send a chill down your spine. And when you hear the stories of all the legendary games gone by you realize why Brickie Bowl is so uniquely special.
And I’m sure that Brickie Bowl has been witness to more classic moments than Friday’s slugfest with Lowell; like the legendary “Mudbowl” against Griffith in the Regional in 1995, or the 1979 Regional Championship against Penn where the crowd was so large that fans climbed the surrounding trees to see the game. That crowd was so large that not only were the fans hanging from the trees that night, but according to Penn coach Chris Geesman, the place was so packed that fans were actually seated on the Penn bench.
But I was there for this one, so this memory belongs to me; me and the other 5000 plus in attendance. When I arrived and saw fans standing on one of the neighboring garages to watch the game, I knew it was going to be one of those special moments. And together we all witnessed another marker in the time line that is the legend of Brickie Bowl.
Sadly, Brickie Bowl’s days are numbered. Hobart is building a new school and a new stadium and from what I hear, it will be a great facility. But the ghosts of Brickie Bowl won’t be there.
But there are still a few remaining opportunities to experience the Brickie Bowl and I highly recommend that you take advantage of the opportunity; because if you have never seen a game there, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Chris Lannin can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.