So tourney week has come and gone, and as I strolled down memory lane all week, here are some thoughts about why this week is so important.
I have been covering this event in Maine since 1993 and it is by far one of my favorite things to do over my 27+ year career in television, but it may not be for the reason you think.
Yes, I remember some of the amazing playoff and state title games that have happened over the years. Yes names like Blodgett, Bedard, Vachon and Pelotte bring back amazing memories. Just like teams from Calais, Jonesport-Beals, Lawrence, Brunswick and countless others provide an instant smile.
But my favorite part of Tourney week does not have a specific sports memory attached to it.
From the very first time I walked into the old Bangor auditorium, I was hooked. Hanging out with people from Central Aroostook at Millers Buffet between sessions and chatting about what had happened and what was about to happen never got old.
The tournament is about community. It’s about watching towns close down to come and support their teams. Kids taking boats and cars just to get to their venues. Stories about the ‘good ole days’ and tournament memories gone by. It’s a time where for at least an hour or two, the latest video game is on hold, politics can wait, all the things that consume our daily thoughts can be put on pause in the interest of cheering for our kids, our alma maters, or our communities.
There are no high priced salaries, just back to the basic sport at the most primitive level. Tourney time is magical no matter which teams score the most points because taking part in it at any level, makes you a winner.