COMMENTARY — An all-time classic movie and favorite of mine is the Rob Riener-directed “The Princess Bride,” in which the ultra-skilled swordsman utters the words. “Hello, my name is Inigi Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Montoya then avenges his father’s brutal death by dispatching the six-fingered man, Count Rugen.
As the story explains, Montoya’s father was killed by the brutal Count when he tried to get payment for a sword he had crafted. Inigo, who was a young boy, witnessed the murder and received scars on his face from the evil Count when he tried to fight back.
The rest of his life, Inigo trained and studied to become the best swordsman he could in order to be prepared for when he finally got his chance at revenge.
Of course, this is just fantasy, an entertaining and humorous tromp through a medieval time. But, as in most movies, the story told is one we can learn from and draw analogies to.
A year ago, Dixie High and quarterback Blake Barney were like that young Inigo Montoya.
With the eyes of the state on him and his Dixie teammates, the Flyers hosted the Hurricane Tigers in what was billed as the biggest game southern Utah had seen in a long time. Both teams were undefeated. News helicopters were landing. TV cameras were rolling. Newspaper writers were scribbling. Seemingly everyone in southern Utah was jacked for the prime time match-up.
But what we got was Count Rugen and the young Inigo Montoya. It was no contest. The Tigers, focused on the big prize, dominated. Tied at 7-7 three minutes in, Hurricane scored four straight touchdowns and led 35-7 at half. It got as bad as 51-14 before the Flyers added a late TD for the final 51-21 score.
Scarred physically and emotionally, Dixie managed to salvage a 4-2 region record, but got bounced out of the playoffs in quick fashion by Juan Diego.
Remember, young Inigo used those scars, physical and emotional to fuel his work ethic.
So what about the Flyers?
It was bad last year. Three different Hurricane running backs had over 100 yards rushing. The Tigers defense forced four turnovers. Hurricane had such ease running the ball that the offense only attempted two passes in the game. Midway through the third quarter, Hurricane’s starters were sitting by the Gatorade cooler talking about their girlfriends.
Count Rugen had struck and young Inigo could do nothing but nurse his wounds and plan for a better future.
Now I don’t mean to villanize the Hurricane program. Coach Chris Homer and his staff run a clean program and it’s easy to root for them because they are good guys. But the Tigers have won four straight region titles and have been to the state championship four times in a row.
In the rest of the region’s eyes, the Tigers are the villains.
And so now we have the rematch. Again all the state will be looking at Dixie and Hurricane. Both are undefeated. The Tigers are ranked No. 1. Just like last year, Dixie is coming off an emotional win over Pine View.
But this year could be different. If Dixie has put in the time, and it looks like the Flyers have, maybe this time they can stand up to the six-fingered man.
Barney looks faster. He’s worked hard, like a son determined to avenge his father. He’s studied his craft. Dixie coach Blaine Monkres said Barney knows the offense, “almost as well as I do.”
In the movie, Count Rugen still almost bests Inigo in the climactic scene between the two. It was a bloody fight, not a rout. But at long last, the skilled swordsman reaches deep down and Inigo gets his revenge.
I don’t know if Dixie will get it’s revenge. I don’t believe it will be another blowout like last year. But it should be fun to watch – kind of like a classic movie.
Andy Griffin is a sports commentator and the views expressed here are not necessarily those of St. George News.
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