At 10 this morning (Central Standard Time) I will be calling the 2017 WIAA state Division 7 football championship here.
This will be the third state football championship game I’ve called. The first two were losses — Platteville to Winneconne in the 2013 Cinderella Bowl (both teams ended up 9–5, which is an unusual record for the top two teams in a division), and Shullsburg to Edgar last year. That doesn’t really minimize the experience because I got to announce the last game of the year (in their enrollment divisions) those years. I’ve also done state basketball championship games where the right team won.
The worst game to lose is not the state championship game, though you might think that. The worst game to lose is the game before state — Level 4 in Wisconsin football and the sectional final in other sports. That’s because if you lose that game, regardless of what you accomplished, it won’t include the state tournament experience — having entire communities wound up for you, having your games on statewide TV, being on Camp Randall’s field or the Kohl Center or Resch Center’s floor, and having your name reverberate through those stadiums when introduced.