Vorva: To Bloom gridders — here’s mud in your eye
By Jeff Vorva For Sun-Times Media December 31, 2012 7:46PM
Updated: February 2, 2013 6:03AM
With apologies to Bloom football coach Tony Palombi, my favorite sports memory of 2012 came on a cold, rainy night in Olympia Fields after Palombi’s team beat Rich Central 21-0 on Oct. 19 to clinch a playoff spot.
It was just the fourth time in school history the Blazing Trojans qualified for the playoffs and first since 1989. None of the players on the team was even born then.
The players jumped, chanted and went bananas after the game.
“We made history!” linebacker Macolm Hurt said. “We came out here and fought with our hearts.”
“I have never felt this good about a football team ... I can’t put it in words,” teammate Dominque Taylor added. “We’re lovin’ it.”
While I was interviewing Palombi, a small group of maybe five or six players — most likely guys who didn’t get in the game — found a mud puddle near the sidelines. They plunged in, laughing — screaming, howling and rolling around like a bunch of pigs, truth be told — and got their uniforms dirty.
That moment of pure unbridled and unfiltered joy to me seemed to symbolize a release after a great accomplishment. A year of hard work that started in the hot August sun was being celebrated in the cold mud.
I got a kick out of it.
The coach didn’t.
Palombi bellowed with such force that would make the late Pavarotti envious: “HEY, cut that OUT! Get OUTTA there! WE don’t DO that!”
Looking back on it now, it was silly, immature and probably didn’t portray the school in the best light.
But in an age where kids try to be cool and not show emotion, I liked it. They just experienced one of the best moments of their lives and could be forgiven for going a little hog wild.