The Wizard of Oz
I had a nightmare last night, and I know it was caused by the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
They made us send our wrestling team to Prescott on a Wednesday night to wrestle for the state championships on Thursday and Friday.
I kept saying loss of school time, parents taking off in the middle of the week, and ending the tradition of having the finals take place on Saturday, when more would attend.
My nightmare started by awakening to find myself as Dorothy, from “the Wizard of Oz.” I was accompanied by Rhett Stallworth, who was the cowardly lion, and Jim Colby — Yuma head of officials — who was the straw man in search of a brain. We had to reach the Emerald City and solve our problems.
You see, the Great Oz is all-powerful. He schedules our games, determines our sections, and tells us where to be. Dorothy and the cowardly lion can no longer vote on anything.
We can only recommend and hope the Great Oz will take care of us. I guess the straw man came along because he has to figure out who is going to referee the secret schedule that the Oz sends him.
When we reached the Emerald City, munchkins had faces of athletic directors from around the state. They were dancing merrily and aimlessly around the enchanted city. Stallworth and I wanted to leave immediately.
Some of the munchkins were riding on miniature Shetland ponies, and we feared we would be forced to ride these little creatures, which would bring an end to them.
Colby prevailed, and got us an audience with the great Oz.
I asked, “Great Wizard, would you please help us get back to Yuma, so we can return to a simpler time. We promise not to travel too much, or get out of school for too long. We'll even let the straw man figure out who refs for us.”
Lightning, thunder, and wind erupted.
“You dare question the Great Oz,” he replied.
“Respectfully, yes, sir. We really don't like having 5A schools in our soccer and tennis schedules. We'd like to have a league or conference to play schools we know. Maybe, great sir, we could go to California, because it's close, and play teams and not get penalized for power points.”
I cowered, waiting for the reply.
“You Yuma people want everything, and you are so far from the Emerald City. Who do you think you are?” growled the Wizard.
I responded, “We are just a cowardly lion, a scarecrow without a brain, and a little girl with ruby red slippers who wants to tap her heels together and get the heck out of this nightmare.”
John Blabe is the football coach and athletic director at Antelope Union High School. He can be reached at email@example.com.