You can tell a lot from one game, even if it the first one of the season.
For example, we now know that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel learned nothing from his autograph signing travails. And his poor coach, Kevin Sumlin, has about as much control over him as Billy Ray Cyrus has over his daughter’s dancing.
And I’m still trying to decide who looked more disgusting, Manziel or Miley.
More locally, the Granbury Pirates football team showed that even in a season opener against a team lacking discipline, they can keep their cool. There were ample opportunities in the 27-13 victory at Wichita Falls for a fight or two to break out on the field, but it didn’t.
The Coyotes were called for 17 penalties totaling 133 yards, including several for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Not that Granbury played penalty-free. It was quite the opposite, getting flagged 11 times for 90 yards.
But the majority of those were the 5-yard variety for things such as delay of game, offsides, illegal procedure. Those need to be fixed for this team to do as many expect and have some postseason success, but they are also expected in the first game of the season.
What Granbury players did NOT do, however, is let a lesser team level the playing field by pulling them into a mental contest. The Pirates did not retaliate. Instead of getting involved in a fuss that drew major penalties and ejections, they simply played better football and won the game.
“To me there’s a fine line between just being the whipping child and taking it as opposed to standing up,” said Pirate head coach Scotty Pugh.
“But after all is said and done, you do it between the whistles. If there has to be a penalty or ejection, let it be the other team.”
NOT TAKING THE BAIT
You can’t blame the Coyotes, really, for trying to gain any kind of advantage on the Pirates. Less-talented teams often try this ploy, sometimes on purpose and sometimes out of simple frustration.
In years past when they were the less-talented team, it wasn’t uncommon to see the Pirates resort to this. It doesn’t make a player a bad person; perhaps desperate is a better description.
But the Pirates aren’t in that category any longer. They have a lot to lose, and they know it.
“It has a lot to do with composure,” said Pugh. “Our kids have a plan and know what they want to accomplish, and they know doing stupid things is not how they’re going to get it done.”
Can the Pirates keep that same composure when they travel to Aledo late in the season? They will have to, and even though it’s only been one game, evidence is in their favor.
Pugh is in his sixth season, and the program has seen much growth. They’ve gone from being everybody’s homecoming to what is likely to be eight or nine wins this season.
The talent has improved, and so has the maturity. It’s only one game, but it was a road game that was there for the losing if they made the wrong decisions.
Some players have enough talent to act like a punk on the field and still get away with it. Manziel could very well be such a player.
Nonetheless, it’s a pathetic trait.
These Pirates, though talented, don’t have any such player – and thankfully there appears to be no desire to behave in such a way. There will always be the occasional overzealous action by a player player from peewees to the pros. As long as it’s not detrimental to the team, it can be chalked up to enthusiasm and no one gets hurt.
Being classless and looking ridiculous, well that’s called Johnny Manziel or Miley Cyrus.
Fortunately, it appears the Pirates know the difference.
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