Dear New Palestine followers,
On Feb. 25, I wrote that if New Palestine won its boys’ sectional championship I’d walk from Center Grove (host of the tourney) back to New Palestine.
This was a good-natured attempt to motivate the Dragons, who apparently were slightly peeved at an earlier preview of their regular season matchup with Mt. Vernon, when I pointed out the Marauders were playing very well heading into that rivalry game, while the Dragons were on a bit of a slide.
New Palestine coach Adam Barton felt that, on paper, Mt. Vernon would probably be viewed as the favorite to win that game, and I quoted him thusly. Still, somehow it was me who got blamed for “going against” the Dragons (as one GDRsports Twitter follower put it). I sense it was a shrewd coaching ploy by Barton — an “everyone is against us, even the media” type of thing. And it worked for Barton; his pumped-up players flattened Mt. Vernon.
For the sectional preview, I figured if I was going to bear the brunt of New Pal fans’ ire, it might as well be for something I actually said, not a quote from their own coach that I simply relayed.
And that’s where the walking 27 miles from Johnson County back to New Palestine promise came in. That pledge was preceded by a forecast that the Dragons wouldn’t even get out of the first round. (I was really going all out).
When the Dragons knocked off Franklin Central Saturday night in the sectional championship, I was in Terre Haute covering the girls’ basketball state finals, so I was spared what would have been certain death attempting to walk alongside 465 exiting US 31 in Greenwood.
Still, a promise is a promise. And I figure I owe the New Palestine players and fans a 27-mile walk, or something equivalent.
I could take 108 laps around the New Palestine athletic outdoor track, maybe for two or three straight Sundays until I complete the task. I’m prepared to do so, but it seems kind of boring.
I’ll keep thinking of alternative ways to pay up on my bet, and I’m open to suggestions. Is there a pep rally this week that I could take several pies to the face from New Palestine players?
If you’ve got an idea that doesn’t involve tattoos, piercings or any other kind of permanent body modification, drop me a line.
Otherwise, I’ll be at the New Palestine track Sunday taking my punishment, one step at a time.