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Headed to Fawcett Stadium

November 29, 2010 - Michael Palmer
"Who Dey" is the name of a chant of support by fans of the Cincinnati Bengals, in use for over 30 years. The entire chant is: "Who dey! Who dey! Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?" The answer screamed in unison, "Nobody!"

It is perhaps now appropriate for the Shadyside fans to begin the chant, “Who Dey.”

It was pointed out in Rich Gibson’s column Saturday:

“Apparently, Mark Holenka and his Shadyside Tigers failed to get the memo. The one we hastily issued in August.

"I think the paper picked us to go 6-4," smiled the Orange's senior tower of power Aaron Silverio, reminding our crack staff of T-L 'experts' who envisioned Silverio and his teammates turning in their uniforms in late October.

Well, we concede. And are very much pleased to do so.”

No one outside of the Tigers’ locker room had any faith that this would be their destiny. A team that prides itself on having no superstars, a classic underdog if you will, rose through out the season and grew into a champion.

I was one of the crack staff picking against Shadyside on the week that they played Bridgeport for the second time. I had already picked Bridgeport in the regular season and just Xeroxed the pick, because you will not find me down at the Waffle House in a pair of Flip Flops changing my vote.

In all actuality, no one here at the paper wanted to see either team lose, it is just the reality of the tournament.

It is a do-or-die football tournament, meaning they must win every single game in order to advance to the championship game and obviously the team who wins the title is the one that wins ALL their games.

That means if a team loses ONCE, they’re out.

I was not alone, each week their were Nay Sayers.

I am sure you heard the scuttle butt, “It’s over, they will never beat Mogadore.”

“Mogadore is an undefeated powerhouse, we had a good run though.”

A good run indeed. However, someone forgot to tell the Shadyside football team it was over.

The underdog team sometimes will prevail simply because they are the team that wants it more than the other team.

Canton is the site of Friday's D-VI title game with kickoff scheduled for 3 p.m. Once again few outside of the Valley give the Tigers much of a chance. Despite being ranked number one coming into the tournaments, you hear, “Don’t mean nothing’, Region 23 is the easiest in the state.”

Once again, you will not find me down at the Waffle house in a pair of Flippity Flops talking out both sides of my mouth. I am converted, I am a believer!

I know that despite being Tigers, these young players have the hearts of lions. No one gave them a chance to be here in August and no one may give them a snow ball’s chance in Hades of pulling off another win this Friday, but you can bet that Shadyside will enter Fawcett Stadium with the same attitude and confidence that has propelled them to the state title game.

Defying all the odds and indeed mathematical logic, the equation of 1 + 1 = 11. When you have a unified team, you get a very unique synergy going on - that in turn brings everybody’s game up to an entirely different level where intangible things can happen.

My pick is not a well wish this week - or a politically correct attempt to show support for a lost cause.

I believe the Tigers can and will win this game.



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