Since its peak in the late Sixties and early Seventies, attendance at high school football games has been declining. Oh, sure, powerhouse programs such as Mater Dei, Los Alamitos and Edison still bring out the fans, but for the typical school, the crowds on Friday nights have been getting smaller and smaller.
Could that be changing? Or is it more the adage of nothing breeds success like success?
At Friday night’s Garden Grove League title match at the Garden Grove High Stadium, attendance was among the highest in recent memory. The home side, consisting of Argonaut supporters, was nearly full; the visitor’s bleachers, for the Cavaliers were about half-occupied.
A quick estimate would suggest a total turnout of about 3500 to 4000 fans. If you are older and attended high school in the Fifties and Sixties, that might not seem like a big number, but compared to how things have gone in the era of X-boxes and parent-less weekends, it was a huge crowd.
Of course, you might expect a good response to a game that not only settled the GGL title, but one that featured a Garden Grove High team seeking to finish the regular season 10-0 and ranked number one in the CIF/SS Southern Division.
Not only that, Santiago came into the game with an 8-1 record, and two straight GGL crowns. Add to that the emotional dimension of how the death of Kevin Telles had a deep impact on many in the community.
So, perhaps the big and loud crowd on Stanford Avenue last Friday night might have been a bit of an anomaly. Or, perhaps, it signals a return to the days when the football game not only unified the school, but it was the place to be each September through November.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
Some of the most interesting stuff that comes out of a city council meeting doesn’t make it into the newspaper story, because there are more important things to report on.
But at a recent meeting of the Garden Grove council, tempers got a little frayed when Councilman Andrew Do and resident Rick Powell got into it. The later suspects that Do, elected to the council in 2008, doesn’t actually live in Garden Grove.
Powell said, “It’s easy to become a Garden Grove resident; just rent something in Garden Grove.” He went to a neighborhood in Santa Ana where Do owns a house to have a look.
“When you were in the Santa Ana neighborhood,” replied Do, “my neighbors called me and asked if you were stalking me.” He added, “you went out of your way to malign me to strangers,” and threatened to call police if Powell set foot on his property.
At the same meeting, Councilman Bruce Broadwater waxed enthusiastic about two projects: one on the books and one brand new. He visited New Orleans and Florida, and enthused about the appeal of a water park-hotel, such as is being planned for Harbor Boulevard north of Garden Grove Boulevard.
“The one we stayed at in Florida had no vacancies,” he said.
He’s also interested in building a museum about the Vietnam war. “What a draw!” he said, suggesting that the local Vietnamese would embrace the idea.
Maybe. On the other hand, the war was not exactly a happy memory or outcome for many. It would be interesting to see the reaction.