What Do a Superbowl Announcer Wannabe and Education Commissioner Have in Common?

By SUSAN DROMEY HEETER, Joyful Musings.

There’s been quite a bit written about a certain education commissioner who was appointed with, literally, no experience in education.  None. Even his children are homeschooled. He has never taught in a public school, never been part of a faculty committee, never even earned his teaching credentials.  Huh.

So, today I muse joyfully if I were given the role of announcing the Super Bowl. I have absolutely no knowledge of football – aside from what I’ve learned from the book, the movie and the series Friday Night Lights. I watched primarily as the character, Tim Riggins, is adorbs and Coach Taylor is endearing, strong and with his “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose” anthem, I was hooked.

So, I’d put on a NFL blazer and sit with those guys who announce the game, speak of players, banter about downs and fouls.  I’d talk of the numbers on backs, the big field and what they do in the huddle.  I’d make things up, saying that I knew the word, “Lola” meant doing a special play to get to the end zone. I’d say words like “blitz,” “tackle” “line of scrimmage.” I’d go off topic on that last one as I’d mention how scrimmage sounds like cribbage and I’d mention how I do not know how to play but hope to learn some day.  It looks fun and I like those wooden boards and pegs.

My colleagues would look at me with irritation, so I’d bring it right back to “field goal,” “fair catch,” “conversion.” Whew.  I’d be relieved to be back in the game, not on my eighth down, I’d pause and listen and then add that I wondered what the guys do on the bench waiting to go in the game. Do they secretly hope someone gets injured? Tackled? I think I would. If I made it to the Super Bowl, I’d really hope to play. 

I’d ask, “Can those on the sidelines look at their cell phones on the bench? Watch TikToks, take selfies?  Or, do the coaches do what I do in my high school classes of putting the phones in paper bags, stapling them and then warning that if they are opened before the end of class, the student will be sent out? Where would a player go if he were sent out?  To the parking lot? Would he change? Or take selfies in his uniform with those tailgating?”

I ask these questions to my fellow announcers and they, regrettably, would be baffled and annoyed. I’d have to get back in the game so I’d say, “back field,” “fair play” and “down.”

I’d joyfully muse on when I could say with confidence, “Time for a commercial break, we’ll be right back.”  During that pause, I’d go eat some spice drops as my grandmother always had them and I find them comforting. I’d probably put way too many in my mouth and be chewing on the gummy candy when the cameras started filming. In my defense, they’d be stuck in my teeth.

I’d probably be fired.

And, as I have never thrown a pass, at least in any football game, I have written many a pass – to bathrooms, nurse’s offices, guidance. I’d be as competent as that education commissioner who seems as fit for his job as I would be as an announcer at the Superbowl.

I muse joyfully you’ll enjoy the game on Sunday and continue to pay attention to the way public education is being tackled in this state.  No touchdowns, no good commercials, no great snacks. Simply fumbles, offensive plays and downs.  This teacher joyfully thanks you from the classroom, the school, the playing field of public education.

Susan Dromey Heeter is a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards.

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