ARLINGTON, Texas -- The week before Christmas brings thousands upon thousands of Texas high school football fans for a 4-day extravaganza of state championship games at AT&T Stadium.
The teams that have advanced to the finals never disappoint, either.
Thursday was just the second day of football action, with the first day dominated mostly by 6-man football. These final scores tend to resemble basketball scores rather than traditional football scores.
In the 1A 6-man, Division II final Strawn mercy-ruled Matador Motley County, 73-28, and in the 6-man, Division I game, Westbrook topped May, 72-66. Don't tell these teams that defense wins championships.
In Wednesday's finale, Shiner boxed Hawley, 47-12, in the 2A, Division I championship game.
The scores came back down to earth, slightly, Thursday with Stratford topping Falls City, 39-27, for the 2A, DII title, and Lorena toppling Brock. 35-18 for the 3A, Division I championship.
I have covered my fair share of state championships -- in both states and multiple sports -- over 18 years with the Texarkana Gazette. I am only a spectator this fall.
Every year, you could make a movie from just the highlight reels from the Texas UIL state finals, and with over half the finals left to play, this year will be not different.
Already, the teams have put up monster numbers and big play after big play in a handful of games. I'm anxious to see what happens when the larger schools take the field in the coming days.
For most football fans, I know taking off three days to watch 12 championship games seems absurd. But I will tell you from experience, take one year and go watch a days' worth of high school football on the biggest stage. You won't be disappointed.
I questioned when all the state finals were to be played at AT&T Stadium several years back. There is no question now: you get to see the best high school football, in one place, back-to-back games, and it is well worth the price of admission.