It was disappointing to see Geneva's Patrick Schiller among the final cuts from the Atlanta Falcons roster prior to the start of the NFL season.
The former Geneva High School Viking and Northern Illinois linebacker was part of the team's practice squad last year, but got caught in the numbers game that so many other talented football players face when trying to reach the game's summit in the NFL.
It didn't take long for the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans to give Schiller a buzz and ask him to come visit for an interview and a workout.
"You just play the waiting game now," Schiller said. "It's not a fun process, but you hope for the best."
Schiller worked out with the Panthers a week ago and will do the same with the Texans on Tuesday. Teams assess their injury list and keep in touch with players they know are available, usually by hearing from the player's agent.
"This is the game you play," Schiller said. "Going the free agent route is always tougher because you could get cut four or five times before finally sticking with a team."
Schiller has one thing working in his favor. When injuries strike, NFL teams prefer "a veteran linebacker who can jump in right away," he said.
In the meantime, Schiller has been back in Geneva and continues to train. He's also donated his expertise to the current Geneva Vikings, helping coach the linebackers when he is able.
"After being in Division I college and NFL football, you have to remember what's important for the high school players," Schiller said. "I've been able to help them with fundamentals and techniques."
If last year is any indication, Schiller still has a chance to hook up with a team. With three or four games left in the season, some teams contacted him about a place on their 53-man roster, but he opted to stick with Atlanta, thinking the team was on a path to the Super Bowl.
That didn't happen, but the next team that grabs him might just make it to the grandest football game of all.
Too late nights: As long as we're at it, let's stay on the football topic.
This may sound like sour grapes from a guy who covers prep football games for the Daily Herald on Friday nights and has to really push to make deadline. But it's not.
It's about wondering how high school football games became late-night productions, sometimes going past 11 p.m.
At the risk of sounding like an old fuddy-dud, that just seems quite late for young kids to still be out or calling parents for rides.
Here's my theory: High school football has become more of a passing game in recent years, which means the clock stops on incomplete passes. Plus, the clock stops on all first downs the entire game until the chain gang and referees are set.
Also, high school kids are bigger and faster these days, meaning there are a few more injury time outs.
Throw in the marching band and other performances, and it is a long night.
A quick fix? Start all varsity games at 7 p.m. and not a minute later. That might mean moving sophomore games to another day or time.
252 push-ups: The St. Charles North sophomore football team scored 56 points in a game against Elgin last week. That means, in following a tradition, the sophomore cheerleaders cranked out push-ups for each point, after each touchdown. My math was never very good, but I'm thinking that comes out to 252 push-ups for a Friday night of work.
Granted, these aren't Marine style push-ups, and the young ladies may take a little liberty on occasion by putting their knees on the ground.
But who can blame them? Those 252 push-ups represent 252 more than most of us have done in the past decade.
But here's one for the worrywarts out there. If you were one of the girls being pushed up in the air and held by others during one of the routines, wouldn't you wonder how those push-up-weary arms might hold up under your weight?
Addicting treat: OK, that's enough about football. I have something else to rave about.
I gave in to the temptation of the raspberry coffee cake at the Hahn's Bakery stand at the Geneva French Market last weekend.
At the risk of pushing my size 34 pants out to about 38 in no time, I could easily become addicted to this incredibly delicious coffee cake.
It won't be the last time I buy this delightful treat, but I'll have to proceed with great caution. It appears to be quite addicting.
Power surge: Folks who stop for coffee and a little work on their laptops or mobile devices at the Arcedium Coffee House in St. Charles are buzzing about the location's new warp speed.
Apparently an IT specialist who does a fair amount of work over his coffee suggested a way for the shop to increase its Internet speed and donated his services to perform the upgrade.
Patrons are noticing much quicker content searches on their devices at Arcedium these days.
Festival volunteers: It's been mentioned before in this column that our area's great festivals don't magically appear just because we like to have fun attending them.
They come about from community organizations and loyal volunteers.
A big thanks goes out to those who have made all of the summer events so much fun, and in advance for those working hard right now to prepare for the Scarecrow Festival on Oct. 11 through 13 in St. Charles.