Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Headless Horseman leads the way

I’m sharing a pretty cool photo with you today; for those of you who grew up in Tarrytown or North Tarrytown (now Sleepy Hollow) New York, you’ll understand why I was so taken with this photo. It shows the Sleepy Hollow High School (SHHS) football team being led onto the field by the Headless Horseman (of the The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving fame). The Headless Horseman is apparently their mascot, and this photo was taken right before a recent game against their arch-rival—Ossining High School. They beat them 41 to 32, so that was good news for SHHS fans.

I grew up in Tarrytown as most of you know. My parents were big fans of the SHHS football team when we were growing up, so many Saturdays during the autumn found us in the bleachers watching the team play its season games. What I remember was the excitement and electricity in the air—that sense of life or death that can only be understood by die-hard sports fans. A bad call by a referee that led to our team’s defeat was the worst that could happen and was talked about for hours after the game. I remember the sounds of the players hitting and tackling each other, and the cheerleaders who led us in chants and songs. But what I also remember was freezing my butt off sitting in the bleachers in early November; I was dressed for the cold weather, but it’s tough to sit outdoors in the cold and rain, as often happened, for hours at a time. I remember feeling miserable and just wanting to go home on some occasions, which of course was what happened if it got too unbearable. But mostly, we were loyal supporters and a win by our team could make our day. The cold and rain were forgotten when our team won. I guess that’s how it should be; after all, the players and the cheerleaders were also cold and wet, but kept right on doing their jobs. There’s something to be said for that kind of dedication, and for that kind of loyalty on the part of the supporters. 

This photo was taken by photographer Patrick Tewey; check out his website at

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