Vaught's Views: Official Title Town Showdown talk can start

August 30, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Finally it's all right to officially start the Title Town Showdown talk that coaches Sam Harp of Danville and Chuck Smith of Boyle County have been trying to avoid for weeks.

You can't blame the coaches. After all, Boyle did have to play Lexington Catholic and Henry Clay the first two weeks of the season while Danville went against area rivals Garrard County and Lincoln County.

The Rebels have already played on WKYT-TV and in another game at Kentucky's Commonwealth Stadium. Danville has played in the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic.

But when it comes to Boyle and Danville, the real hype starts this week even if the unofficial Title Town Showdown talk probably started the day after last year's game ended.


Friday's game at Boyle won't rival the Trinity-St. Xavier game for fan support. That big city showdown annually draws 30,000 or more fans. We'll settle for 6,000 or more here Friday and perhaps more hype than any other regular-season game in the state.

Four-page special section on the game

Start with The Advocate-Messenger. We'll have a special four-page section on the Danville-Boyle game this year just as we have in recent years.

If that's not enough, The Advocate-Messenger's Newspaper in Education program will throw out 500 T-shirts at Friday's game sponsored by Stuart Powell Ford-Mazda and The Tenth Planet. Of course, the shirts are totally neutral with helmets from both teams as well as silver and gold lettering proclaiming the Title Town Showdown.

Bob Allen Motor Mall is providing 500 miniature footballs to both schools for fund-raising purposes this week. Each school's football will be in its color and have helmets from each team as well as the date of the game on the ball.

USA Today will have information on the game and the success the two teams have had in recent years in an article this week. That's national attention that can only help both programs.

TV? Don't worry about the Lexington stations. They'll be in town talking to both coaches before Friday's game and certainly will be here Friday. WLEX-TV sports anchor Ryan Lemond wishes he had never let Mary Jo Perino come to a Danville-Boyle game a few years ago because now she requests that game before the season even starts, meaning he's forced to stay in Lexington and wait for Perino to tell him about the game.

WLEX also has Danville (2-0) No. 1 and Boyle (1-1) No. 2 in its weekly ratings of central Kentucky's top teams and started hyping Friday's game on its sports coverage Sunday night.

Title Town Talk, the Thursday night WHIR-AM sports talk show with Charlie Perry and myself, featured assistant coaches Jeff Hester of Boyle and Marty Jaggers of Danville last week. Both assistants admitted then it was hard to keep players from looking ahead to the Boyle-Danville game. That's why it was no surprise Friday when both Harp and Smith thought their teams were far from sharp in easy victories.

Having the two teams in separate classes is best thing that happened

But the best thing about this game is that it is this week, not the last week of the season like it was for so many years when the two teams were in the same Class AA district. The best thing that happened to football here was having Danville and Boyle move into separate classes in 1999.

Instead of one team eliminating the other one from the playoffs, both teams can now still win state championships. Four of the last five years the loser of the Danville-Boyle game has won a state championship. Try finding another game that can make that boast.

Sure, this week you are either blue and white or black and gold. Nothing wrong with that, either. It's just that once the game ends, the bitterness that used to be such a big part of this rivalry is mostly gone.

No, that doesn't mean Boyle fans instantly become Danville fans Saturday or vice versa. But there is a certain sense of community pride over being known as Title Town and continuing to add to the mystique each year. Maybe that's why no reader was willing to predict the score of the game and win a Title Town Showdown T-shirt when given the chance.

Perhaps that's best because the more success both teams have, the better it is for each team.

Certainly Boyle's five straight state championships are impressive. Certainly Danville's three state titles in the last four years and 10 state championships overall are impressive. However, what makes both feats more impressive is that two schools in the same community are winning state titles at the same time.

Even St. Xavier and Trinity can't make that claim and that's why when it comes to high school football, this really is the only Title Town in Kentucky.

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