Walburg Super Bowl Entertains; Supports Good Cause
For some reason, ESPN missed covering the most prestigious sporting event of the spring. However, the intrepid Texas Polka News sports desk was on location at the Walburg German Restaurant & Biergarten in beautiful downtown Walburg Texas, just west of Opossum Creek.
In the 1st Annual Walburg Super Bowl, the Walburg Germans took on the Corn Hill Czechs in a flag-football game played on the decidedly non-artificial “White Flat Land” (caliche/ limestone) surfaced terrace just north of the Biergarten. The object of the game was to raise funds for a local person’s medical needs and promote the love between the two communities.
But first, a little background of the cultures involved in this friendly duel. Corn Hill is a Catholic Czech community established in the late 1800s, and Walburg is a Lutheran German community established around the same time. The Walburg/Corn Hill geographic split is four miles. In the beginning, there was a definite cultural divide between the two communities, good Catholic/Czech girls didn’t date Lutheran/German boys and vise versa ethnically and religiously. Over the decades, this division faded away with realities, however the friendly rivalry continued, and has produced this meeting of the communities to assist someone in need.
Some of the finest people I have ever known reside in Walburg and Corn Hill. A former Czech Walburg resident whose job took him away was quoted: “Since we were the only Czech Catholics in a German Lutheran town it was interesting to experience both ethnic cultures. I am proud to claim both areas as home.”
In 2017, the two communities joined forces to make a little money for another person in their area needing medical assistance. A Wiffleball Tournament was held to great success. So, this year it was decided to conduct a flag football game. Since the rocky terrace was rather small, the playing field was chalked off at 80 feet with 20-foot endzones. The goal posts were 10-foot electrical conduits braced with limestone rocks from the sidelines. Due to the size of the field, penalties were two steps by the referees. Each side had six players on the field, three males, three females and a strict no-beer-on-the-playing-field rule. The football was a bright yellow Nerf football, which despite the strong northerly winds performed reasonably well.
There were only two types of penalties issued: one being delay of game, which was called several times as the teams tried to figure out what play to run next (we forgot to practice). The refs later admitted the delays should not have been assessed on account of this being the country and life moves slower. However, a delay of game was called by the ref on the ref timekeeper as he had lost the “official” clock on his cell phone and it took a conference between the refs and coaches to straighten out the situation. The time keeper was penalized by cutting off his beer supply. No one remembers what the other penalty was for.
The crowd huddled in lawn chairs against the wind was evenly split between the Czechers and the Germans cheering on the teams with signs and national flags. The Skybox seat of Raymond Mickan’s Suburban, parked on the ledge of the field, provided a windbreak for several supporters. Dogs and small children, oblivious to the intensive rivalry feet away, having a large time in their own way, patrolled behind the two benches decorated with Paulaner Beer sponsorship signs. Ronnie Tippelt, the owner of the property and local musician, yodeled some cheers that would be unfamiliar to the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. The cheers involved a yodeled Ticki, Tocki, Ticki, Tocki; Hoy, Hoy, Hoy, and Prost! During half time, the PA system blasted out Michael Craig’s Polka Show on KRTX-Rockdale. The TPN sports desk was pleased to hear Mark Halata & Texavia pumping out a polka to the crowd and then an advertisement promoting the Ennis National Polka Festival, with a plug for the pre-festival party sponsored by Polkabeat’s Theresa Cernoch Parker.
Announcing the game, ever so competently (Really!) was Doc Mirtsching, a three-generation local chiropractor. His smooth voice, and knowledge of the game and players were priceless. Unique, one-of-a-kind trophies were given to both teams. They appeared to be made out of Styrofoam and unknown objects with copious amounts of spray-paint. Super Bowl rings were also given out that appeared to be possibly purchased at a local Dollar General store. Mysterious judges decided that the Most Valuable Player award would go to the referees, who quickly reappointed the Corn Hillers quarterback Garret McCulley as MVP.
Twenty-four hours after the game, the TPN sports desk still savors the wonderful, peaceful, easy, feeling that the organizers, participants, and natural beauty of the area generated that brought two already close communities even closer as they endeavored to help out a member in need.
Oh-yeah, the Corn Hill Czechs defeated the Walburg Germans 38 to 17. The German coach blamed the fact that the Czechs brought their own beer to the game (not true). Tammy McCulley, the coach of the Corn Hill team was quoted as saying, “We may be friend-emmies on the field, but we’re always family.”