Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
MILWAUKEE WASHINGTON 6
That was the final score of the high school football game last night at historic South Stadium where I’m the public address announcer.
Bradley Tech remains undefeated and is clearly the best team in the City Conference, a conference not famous for high-quality football. The Trojans are a talented, disciplined, physical squad that like Milwaukee Riverside last season could go deep in the playoffs.
But what happened last night at South Stadium should serve as a lesson to other high school football programs. You don’t run up the score on a team that is already hopelessly beaten.
Everyone knew the Tech-Washington match-up would be lopsided. On Tech’s first three plays from scrimmage, they scored three touchdowns, and the game was quickly out of hand.
Leading 44-6 with about a minute left in the first half, Tech got the ball again near midfield. Refusing to run the ball or have the quarterback take a knee, Tech put the ball in the air, desperately trying to put 50 on the scoreboard before halftime. Tech got down to the one-yard line as time expired. Thinking there was still a second left on the clock, the Tech coaches frantically tried to call a timeout. Again, not satisfied with a 44-6 lead, Tech coaches (I emphasize coaches, not the players) wanted another TD.
As the referees huddled with the football on the half-yard line, I turned on the microphone and said, “Our clock has run out.” Admittedly, I was hoping common sense would prevail and the half would be over.
A few seconds later, crew chief Chuck Hinz picked up the football, faced the press box, and lifted the football above his head, signaling that yes, the half had indeed run out and no, Tech was not going to score 50 just yet.
That made the score 44-6 going into the second half. By WIAA rule, whenever the point differential between the two teams in the second half reaches 35 points or more, there is a running clock that only stops on a score, a charged timeout, the end of the 3rd quarter, or an injury.
Trust me. Had it not been for the running clock, Tech could have scored 80 points.
With 20 seconds to play in the game, Tech again refused to take a knee at Washington’s 2-yard line. Instead, the quarterback handed the ball off to a running back who scored an unnecessary and unsportsmanlike final touchdown to make the score 64-6.
I want to be clear. As I mentioned, this is a very good Tech team. The players only do what they are instructed, and Tech’s decision to run up the score at the end of both halves was uncalled for.
The counter-argument is that you should let the kids play and that competition is good and that you can’t fault Tech for Washington’s inability to stop them, etc, etc. etc.
We’re not talking NFL here, folks. This is high school football. There are many ways you can continue to play and keep the score respectable and avoid a brawl from happening.
You put in subs. You run the ball. You don’t call timeouts when you’re ahead by a mile. You take a knee and let the clock run out. All of these ideas were apparently lost on the Tech coaching staff.
Remember, this is a game featuring high school kids, many from the inner city. You start rubbing the other team’s face in it, and they get frustrated. I’ve seen it time and time again. They take swings and punches. Two Washington players got ejected as well as a coach. While I don’t condone those actions, Tech helped manufacture the bad attitude on the field.
Thankfully, no one got hurt in this one-sided affair.
Coaches are also teachers. The Tech coaches blew a golden opportunity to demonstrate to the athletes and the fans in the stands the value of fair play.
Tech also may have done a disservice to MPS football. It’s rare a TV crew shows up at South Stadium to film highlights, but last night, Fox 6 was there. After the 64-6 debacle, my guess is the TV sports directors will be reluctant to send cameras to future MPS games. What for? A 64-6 shellacking isn’t dramatic video.
And by the way, I’ve been going to City Conference football games for 40 years. I’ve NEVER seen a team fall behind the way Washington did last night and rally for a comeback victory. NEVER.
Shame on the Bradley Tech coaching staff for a total lack of good sportsmanship.