Jason Bowen

Years ago, before digital and cell phone cameras, there was something called Polaroid cameras.

Once you snapped the photo, it would eject it from the front of the camera with a sound I can’t describe but can still clearly hear in my mind.

The photo was cloudy. You had to wait a minute or two for the photo to develop. Sometimes, impatient photographers shook the photo or blew on it or even placed it in a refrigerator, though there was no evidence that made the photo develop any faster. But if you watched it, you would see the photo begin to clear up — the subjects in the photo would begin to come into view.

That’s kind of what we’re about to go through over the next four weeks regarding the high school football playoff picture.

As we enter the second half of region play, all six of our teams are mathematically still in contention for playoff berths. Some have more work to do than others, and some will need help from others to get there.

That’s where the cloudiness comes in. But week by week, the playoff picture will develop more into view.

For a few teams, a playoff berth is all but a given at this point. They’re chasing region championships, a high seed and a home playoff game in Round 1.

North Sand Mountain, North Jackson and Scottsboro enter tonight’s games undefeated in their respective regions. They control their own destiny, which is phrase all three of the teams’ head coaches used when I spoke with them this week. It’s simple: Keep winning and you’ll be the champ.

It’s a big deal to make the playoffs, whether you do so as a region champion or as a No. 4 seed. It’s a big deal because teams have to earn it and they have three to four more games left to finishing earning it.

In Week 2, we took focus with our Polaroid camera, pressed the button and listened to the cool noise the camera made as it ejected the photo.

We sat it on the table, resisting the urge to shake it, and begun watching it develop.

It’s coming in to view one week at a time.

When the playoff picture is fully developed, we will see how we will remember each teams’ season.


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