By George Ferguson
I would hate to ever be accused of beating a dead horse. For that matter, I would hate to be accused of beating a live horse. But in this case, I am going to make an exception because of an exceptional set of circumstances. No I'm not going to really hit a horse, I am going to write about something that I wrote about not long ago.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite all of my fellow Havreites to a community gathering this Saturday afternoon. The time is 1 p.m. and the place will be Blue Pony Stadium. The reason for being there is Havre High School's first state championship home football game since 1968. Notice I mention, 1968 not 1961. Thanks to everyone who called to correct us on our mistake.
To be correct, the last time that Havre hosted a Class A state championship football game was in the fall of 1968. According to newspaper clippings provided by Mickey Williams, the Ponies lost to Billings Central 25-14 at a chilly Blue Pony Stadium.
Anyway, by now everyone who isn't living under a rock knows about the biggest football game to be played in Havre in a long time, but that doesn't mean that all of you are planning to attend the game.
I know that everyone cannot be at Blue Pony Stadium on Saturday. However, I do know that there are enough of you out there that can go to the game to fill the stands beyond capacity.
I sympathize with any of those people who wish they could go to the game but have to work or have other obligations that will prevent them from being there.
I know many of you think that this will sound irrational, but I think that all local businesses should close for the three hours during the game. It's three hours, I doubt there will be a sudden shopping rush. I realize businesses can't afford to do that, but sometimes my heart gets in the way of my head.
While most businesses probably will keep their doors open, I also know that there is still something like 11,000 plus people living in or near the vicinity of Havre. Surely that must mean that for this one day, a crowd can gather there that would amaze even the most skeptical of people like myself.
Let's put this in perspective.
First, it has been a long time since Havre has hosted or captured a state championship in football. So just being there to possibly witness a large part of Pony history would be one reason to go.
Second, there has not been a sold out game at Blue Pony Stadium all season long, despite all of the Ponies' success.
Third, this team plays with an excitement and passion that deserves more than respect, it deserves attendance.
Finally, there is no better reason to go than to sell out Blue Pony Stadium to show the rest of the state that Havre is a community that rallies around and supports its children and their activities to the hilt.
Once we pack the place, we need to make sure it is a true home field advantage.
The term "home field advantage" has nothing to do with the grass underneath the players feet. It means what the home crowd can do for a team.
If you watch a big time college football or professional games, you will see that the home crowd makes as much noise as they can when the opposing team is on offense. This is to drown out the quarterbacks voice so that his offensive lineman and receivers cannot hear his cadence. The result of this is to create false starts, delay of game penalties or basic chaos. Crowd noise is effective and is a virtual 12th man when the home team is playing defense.
Not to mention the fact that a noisy, raucous crowd can inspire and motivate a home team as well. As far as I am concerned, you can't have enough noise for a state championship game. We aren't playing in a library here, people.
A large, noisy and colorful crowd can also be very intimidating to a visiting team. As if our unique stadium isn't intimidating enough, we can make it worse with some a few thousand screaming fans.
The point of my blathering is that as citizens of Havre, we can actually help the Havre Blue Ponies overcome this one final hurdle in what has already been a magical season. We can play a part in victory, rather than sitting on our hands in defeat.
These kids have given us all a lot of excitement and good times this fall. They are good kids that are worth cheering for. It is up to us as a community to give something back to them. It isn't that difficult really.
I know the team would like nothing better than to look up in the stands on Saturday and feel like the whole town of Havre is there to cheer them on.
So I am asking the normally reserved people of Havre to go nuts. It's time to put on your blue and white, paint your face, decorate your car, make posters, find any and every obscenely loud noise maker you can, scream your head off and cheer the Ponies to victory.
Let's make Blue Pony Stadium the loudest, the most raucous and intimidating place the Laurel Locomotives have ever seen.