Welcome to Montgomery. You’re not crazy, but you are chancing it by going there.
Hank Williams is buried there. I think he was talking about a woman when he sang “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” but it could have well been about the goings-on in that dumpster fire that is our state capitol.
Yes, the city looks better downtown that it once did, but for the most part, sellers of plywood seem to be the only ones profiting on the Southern Boulevard business market of my youth when going there was a pleasure, not a “Gosh, I hope I get through the area without getting shot” moment.
Take away the dangers of the area and you still have to deal – fortunately, not often – with the Montgomery schools and the fact that they only have one football stadium to play home games. Enterprise visits R.E. Lee at Cramton Bowl Friday night. Pretty sure whoever is in charge of the scheduling knew that long ago. Problem is, Eufaula was scheduled to play at Cramton Bowl against Carver Friday night. Pretty sure whoever is in charge of the scheduling knew that, too.
Carver, which practiced Sunday in preparation for the game on Thursday, waited until Monday to notify Eufaula of the scheduling mishap. After Eufaula initially fought the change, it was agreed upon to be played on Thursday night. Carver couldn’t get the game moved to Alabama State, wouldn’t come to Eufaula, nor would not even agree to use outside Montgomery officials. Did I mention there was a signed contract for the game to be played on Friday? Perhaps we needed Trump to negotiate because this reeks to bowels of the earth. Carver said it was its Senior Night. I say tough luck, you’re gonna have to have it on Saturday.
I despise when I hear the word “cheater” because usually it’s coming from a fan who is just angry that his or her team lost. But Carver, knowing the game could not be played Friday, practicing on Sunday to prepare for the short week, well, let’s just say there have to be some characters called into question.
Never mind that two of the other three schools that use the stadium, Jeff Davis and Park Crossing, play away games Friday, while Sidney Lanier has an open date this week, so the game could have been played on Saturday, as Montgomery schools often do due to the shared stadium situation.
Also, never mind that officiating at Cramton Bowl gets about as much criticism as it does at Rip Hewes Stadium in Dothan, but this is just so wrong on so many levels.
When I got a response back at 8 p.m. on Monday night from the Alabama High School Athletic Association, the representative said it still showed the game to be played on Friday. However, by that time Eufaula City Schools had postponed its school board meeting and the local Chamber was left hoping its annual Low Country Boil fundraiser set for Thursday evening wouldn’t take a big hit on the turnout.
Montgomery schools hardly have any fans attend games. When Enterprise played there a few years back, there were all of 24 people on the home side. I’ve seen less than 50 for Sidney Lanier and Park Crossing and only a few more for Jeff Davis over the years. Not even all the parents show up with those numbers.
You would think the Montgomery schools and/or Cramton Bowl officials would have this scheduling thing down by now after decades and decades of scheduling. Apparently not! All this mess and there’s only two teams from Montgomery with home games this week.
Someone please build a new stadium for the Montgomery schools. It’s not like it needs to be that big, you know, because it’s not like many are going to show up.
As for Saturday games, they are ridiculous if played in August, September or even early October because fans are forced to sit in the searing heat with the early kickoffs.
Of course, if the AHSAA would start games in late August or early September we would have as many ridiculously hot games. States farther north than Alabama start later, so why can’t we?
The AHSAA is also the brain trust that allowed Dothan to compete for state playoffs this year at Class 6A although it is now the third-largest school in the state according to many accounts. If ever a school deserved an asterisk by its name in athletic results, it’s the 2019-20 *Dothan Wolves. Also, it was said a similar situation arose a few years ago with Dothan and a Montgomery school and the game was moved to Dothan. Why not this time?
This should be a ‘Strike 3, you’re out’ for either the AHSAA or someone because Eufaula just keep getting the short end of the stick. Remember, the AHSAA didn’t care about the kids by putting Eufaula in 6A against schools more than twice its size. Yes, it was a clerical error two years ago by a former ECS official that counted virtual students, but come on, this shouldn’t be about adults’ errors, rather the kids. We’ve seen the AHSAA could care less. Of course, they really don’t have to answer to anyone, so Eufaula won’t get as much as an apology. Even NFL officials have to admit when they’ve hurt a team.
Eufaula playing this game on Thursday is just another in a long line of errors. Hopefully, the Tigers can overcome the sad error by Montgomery schools, Cramton Bowl and the AHSAA and laugh as they head out of town with a victory Thursday night. It will be the ultimate last word, but of course, the season isn’t over so we may have to wait and see before another stone is cast in Eufaula’s direction.