You can’t do anything to change personal taste when it comes to watching sports. My strong preference with baseball and basketball is to see it at the highest level, the big leagues and the NBA.
Oddly (I’ll admit), it’s the opposite for football: Give me a ferocious high school game or a well-matched Division III game, and I’m as satisfied as watching any Gophers or Vikings game.
We had one of the former on Friday night at TCF Bank Stadium, when Osseo drove 71 yards in 16 plays to beat East Ridge 14-13 in the closing seconds of the Class 6A title game.
Adrian Peterson could not have thrown himself at an opponent with more iron will than did Prince Kruah (43 carries for 192 yards) for Osseo or Dominik London (31 for 126) for East Ridge.
Later, Kruah was standing in uniform in a hallway, waiting for Osseo’s postgame interview. Down the hall came East Ridge, and Kruah offered a humble handshake and a word of praise to each opponent as he passed.
Meantime, London was in the interview room, offering sincere words of admiration for Kruah’s performance.
The pride that comes with competing in an intense, wondrous football game is not a new thing. A Twitter one-liner was offered on the Gophers perhaps being obliged to carry new coach Tracy Claeys off the field after a big victory, and Roy Magnuson sent this e-mail:
“In 1970, our Murray Pilots, en route to the first of two St. Paul conference championships, defeated Central at Central for the first time in 19 years.
“We celebrated by carrying coach Robert ‘Prof’ Ritter off the field. Prof, as was determined in our ‘guess Prof’s weight” fundraiser, weighed over 340.
“It was not a graceful endeavor carrying him. As was common then, Central’s field had several puddles as a result of weather.
“The St. Paul paper [Gary Olson] reported that we carried Prof off. It also reported we were not completely successful because we dropped Prof in a puddle. Gary didn’t report that we did it on purpose.
“Greater love has never been shown.’’
PLUS THREE FROM PATRICK
Three football players worthy of extra admiration:
Linval Joseph, Vikings: The nose tackle was accidentally shot in the calf a year ago. In Year 2 here, he’s the monster in the middle.
Cody Poock, Gophers: The linebacker missed 2014 with a torn ACL. He’s now on the field and everything Jerry Kill promised.
JD Spielman, Eden Prairie: Two opposing coaches, unsolicited, on the 5-9, 175-pounder: “Best Minnesota high school football player I’ve ever seen.’’