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Date Posted: 11:44:46 12/13/16 Tue
Darien repeated as Connecticut Class LL champions with a 13-0 record. New Canaan completed a four-peat as Class L champions at 12-1, with the lone loss in overtime against Darien on Thanksgiving. In 2013 and 2014, New Canaan defeated Darien in the Class L finals so, to finally win its own state championships, Darien had to move *UP* to a larger class.
In the final statewide New Haven Register poll across all classes, the two programs finished #1-#2, just as they did last year.
These two programs fascinate me because my favorite sports book is Friday Night Lights, in which readers spend a season with a football-obsessed West Texas town called Odessa. The town has fallen on hard times and football provides a social infrastructure the local population desperately needs.
(There's an Ivy connection as well. The star student on the Permian Panther team is tight end Brian Chavez who is recruited and enrolls at Harvard, then quits the Crimson team after one practice when he realizes that Ivy football does not measure up to his high school football. Coda: He graduates from Harvard and then becomes a successful lawyer in Odessa. At age 40, he loses his Texas law license after felony convictions stemming from attacking some long-time personal acquaintances who graduated local rival Midland Lee after a shocking Permian upset loss to Midland Lee. Chavez essentially destroyed his law career in the high school equivalent of physically attacking some Yale friends after losing this year's Harvard-Yale shocker. Seriously, that is how he reacted to a deflating football loss at age 40.)
New Canaan and Darien fascinate me because there is the same town fixation and support of football. Only instead of a hardscrabble boom-and-bust oil economy, there is a high-paying boom-and-bust Wall Street economy. Instead of dusty pick-up trucks, there are late model BMWs. But the underlying devotion to football is the same. And the on-field results bear out that devotion.
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