Mamma No More HEAT!

MAMMA I CAN’T TAKE ANY MORE HEAT!! At a time when both NFL players and owners are trying to squeeze more dollars out of their fans and media outlets one of the best values in sports today is semi-pro football.

I covered one of the finest football games I’ve seen in a 33 year career as a photographer prep, college or pro last night.

Two semi-pro football teams, the Redding Heat and the Solano Chiefs took the field last night to battle like no other I’ve seen before. The HEAT was down 34-33 with thirty-five seconds on the clock the slammed a 40 yard touchdown to take the win and remain undefeated for the season.

The characters were rich on both sides of the line and ran three strings deep.  Half of these guys you would not want to meet in a dark ally.  By the same token, there is not one of them you would not want watching your back in that ally.

They are a crusty bunch too be sure and at this point in the season there might be more walking injured on the sidelines than limp to the field for the kickoff.

I can’t even say these “young men” have heart. Hell, you would have to toss the ball boy on the field to use the word young, and field in the same description.

The United States Football Association had the Heat ranked 12th before their last two wins and a forfeit.  It will be interesting to see where they land after last night’s game.

They will be looking atYuba City next Saturday, May 14th on their home field with the gates opening at 6p.m. 

At a time when folks don’t know if their next pay check is going to land or if their health insurance is going to last through the next month; it’s a bit of a heart-lifter seeing folks putting it on the line doing what they love to do.  Enough to make your mommy proud!

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Redding Heat Adds Win 21-3 over Thunder:

The “Redding Heat” places another win in the books last night 21-3 over the Yuba City Thunder.  This is the second win for the new 2011  franchise under owners Jayson Burris, Missy McArthur and Head Coach, Chris Hall.

Visit THE HEAT site for stats and schedule

Enjoy a few visual highlights from last nights game.

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Got Heart?

The day had been in the seventy’s, now running about thirty-five degrees cooler as the field lights came on and there seemed to be a bit of steam coming off the artificial turf.

You never forget that smell where sweat, pads and field meet.

On the aluminum sideline bench the linebacker gave the tape another wrap around his wrist making the twist on top to strengthen and apply pressure.

“Just a bunch of broken-up old guys that like to play football.” he smiled after making the final wrap.

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“Hey, got some tape? I think that I broke it last season.”  The “Heat” player held up his hand with a finger that was bent in three different directions. “Gotta love it!”

It’s the second week of practice for the Redding, CA semi-pro football team and the first year for new owners Jason Burris and David Williams as the players are given a watchful eye from head coach Chris Hall.

A bit surreal, much like players coming out of the corn field in the movie “Field of Dreams” the players arrived from all corners of the field washed in light dragging what equipment they owned.  They came in very good shape; some shape and no shape.

“I’m not here to disrespect you, but, I don’t ever want to see another session like tonight.  If you don’t bring it to every practice, I guarantee the guy across the line from you will. He’ll be kicking your butt and smiling all the way back to the huddle.” Coach Hall’s voice was not above a whisper and not mistaken by the players as a request.

Towards the end of the two hour practice you could see the timing starting to come back; sharp long passes caught and hard hits made.

Just a bunch of broken-up old guys on a surreal field of dreams with big hearts.  This could just be a very entertaining season.