By NED X. GRIFFEN
Many of us here at Polecat HQ remember as children not wanting to go outside to play in the rain.
"You're not going to melt," our mothers admonished us, encouraging us to get out of the house so that they could have a few moments of peace.
Our moms were right — we didn't melt. We'd splash in puddles. We'd get muddy. We'd watch 2.4 million worms emerge from the soil.
Football was played in the rain back then. It was a sport that was played in bad weather, unlike that "other" sport, bases balls. It was a sport where the elements could have as much impact as a star running back.
Heck, Bill Mignault was all too pleased to play in the rain. His Ledyard teams were always tough mudders.
Nowadays, when it rains, the games must be postponed. You can't send the kids out in the rain. No-no.
It's gotten so bad that programs with turf will pack it in and reschedule.
Look, everyone here at Polecat HQ understands why more schools aren't willing to hold games in the rain. They don't want to deal with the costs of the field getting ripped up. They don't want to lose a good gate because fans don't want to get wet (sissies — where's that hearty attitude that this country was founded upon?)
All that written, we ask this of state schools everywhere — play one game a year in the rain. Football requires toughness; so let the players run and slide around in the muck. It'll make for an experience they'll remember 40 years later.
Friday's RAIN-MAGEDDON screwed up the Week 6 schedule with games being moved ahead to Thursday, or back to Saturday.
Windsor and Middletown were two teams that weren't afraid to play in the rain, and they put on a game that was worth the hype. Windsor, ranked fourth in The Day of New London's Top 10 state coaches' poll, rallied back four times to beat the Blue Dragons, 40-35.
Wolcott played in the fog and went medieval on Derby, winning 41-7. Quarterback Mike Nicol ran nine times for 226 yards and four touchdowns for the Eagles (6-0). Ansonia is the only other team that has beaten the Red Raiders (48-6).
New Fairfield kept itself afloat in the CIAC Class M race by battering previously unbeaten Weston, 42-21. Joe Pacheco ran 28 times for 238 yards and four touchdowns for the Rebels (4-2).
(Memo to Ledyard, Montville and New London fans — pay attention to the likes of Barlow of Redding, Berlin, Hillhouse, New Fairfield, St. Joseph of Trumbull and Wolcott. They're all Class M programs like yours.)
Finally, Wilby of Waterbury survived a frenzied St. Paul of Bristol comeback and won, 52-50.
Wilby led, 46-20, with over 10 minutes left in the game.
The Falcons proceeded to score 30 points in under six minutes.
Twice St. Paul recovered an onside kick and scored.
Kyle Brennan of the Waterbury Republican American, The NVL Blog, WATR, and in-between jobs, quite possibly your mailman, reported that the two teams combined for 14 touchdowns, 102 points and 950 yards of offense.
Whoever the defensive coordinators are for those two teams, they're going to take a hammer to the game DVD.
Here is a quick overview of how the Top 10 teams fared (or didn't):
1. Hand of Madison plays host to No. 7 West Haven today, 1 p.m. YOU WILL be there this afternoon.
2. Ansonia beat Watertown Thursday, 49-21. Mark Jaffee of the Waterbury Republican-American's reporting.
3. Staples of Westport beat Trumbull, 57-14. Bob Birge of The Hour of Norwalk and Doug Bonjour of Hearst Inc. both reporting.
4. Windsor beat Middletown, 40-35. Jim Bransfield of the Middletown Press and the Hartford Courant's Tom Yantz reporting.
5. Xavier beat Amity of Woodbridge Thursday, 52-17. The Middletown Press provided a blurb on the game.
6. Masuk plays at Brookfield tonight, 7 p.m.
8. Glastonbury plays Southington tonight at Meriden's Falcon Field, 7 p.m. YOU WILL be there tonight.
9. Greenwich plays host to Bridgeport Central today, 2 p.m.
10. Berlin beat Rockville of Vernon, 47-0. Chris McLaughlin of the New Britain Herald reporting.
Make sure to take some time out for football today. Be true to your school and show some civic pride.
Now please play us out, Shirley Manson and friends.
Vaya con dios....