- by Jon Mark Beilue
Once upon a time, when society didn’t believe everyone needed a participant trophy and a snow cone to help kids’ self-esteem, high school football teams had to earn a spot in the playoffs.
The post-season was resevered for the best. To be in the playoffs was a designation of a quality season, a sign of worthiness and talent.
There was a time when good teams, 9-1 kind of teams, were left home because they didn’t win district. That was too harsh. Finally, in the early 1980s, two teams from a district were allowed in Class 5A. That was fine, and warranted.
But it was inevitable that it would expand. No matter the sport or the level, pro, college or high school, more teams get in the postseason. Some of it is money-driven, and some of it it job security, but none of it is because all of these quality and worthy teams were staying at home.So two eventually became three, and three soon became four, and at some point, everyone will get in.
Four teams from each district in Class 5A through 3A get into the postseason. Classes 2A and 1A are now broken into Division I and Division II, and still three teams from each district go. Six-man, which is in divisions as well, is a little more realistic with two from each district into the postseason.
So, this year, in Texas, there are two teams in the playoffs with exactly one win. One. One of them is Pampa, which is 1-8. The Harvesters beat River Road, and wereable to finish fourth in five-team District 1-3A. They were outscored this season, 347-150
Playoff-bound and the hammer down.