ESPN’S TUNDRA TV INSPIRES MOM TO ATTEMPT FIELD GOAL: Fake press conferences, misguided branding decisions and monopoly-born arrogance aside, there are times when ESPN really hits a home run. And this online piece on Barrow (AK) High School’s first year fielding of a football team was impossible to stop watching.
The trials and tribulations of the school squad are examined, but just as interesting is learning the lifestyle of those inhabiting one of the most remote cities in the world (Barrow is an astounding 330 miles north of the Artic Circle).
This sentence as part of the piece says it all: “The goalposts are made of spray-painted sprinkler pipe. The benches are tipped-over telephone poles. School buses double as locker rooms. The massive body of water that’s a touchdown pass away? The Arctic Ocean. And the uninvited guests every fan is watching for? Polar bears.”
After ESPN covered the Barrow story on SportsCenter, the wife of a Jacksonville high school football coach decided that she wanted to help the school, which doesn’t get to play on grass during football season because the climate won’t allow, install a synthetic grass field.
Yesterday, the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION reports Cathy Parker, wife of Bartram Trail High School offensive coordinator Carl Parker, “unveiled an initiative Wednesday to raise $500,000 for an artificial football field for the Barrow Whalers, who play on tundra in Alaska.”
The plan is to raise $250,000, and then the NFL will apparently match that contribution to provide the funds for the field.