They may not be the best two teams in the nation, but there's little doubt that the season-opening football faceoff between Allen (Texas) High and defending state champ Southlake (Texas) Carroll High is the most hyped game of the week, if not the season. Two of the football-mad Lone Star State's most prestigious programs are facing off against each other, with pride and possible distant playoff ramifications on the line.
Making matters even more surreal, the two teams are officially opening Allen's new, preposterous $60 million football facility. The stadium seats as many as 20,000 fans, and Friday is expected to host that many folks. Want proof? Just check out the preposterous line for tickets at Carroll on Tuesday, which was tweeted out by the Southlake ISD Twitter feed.
Seriously. That line is for a high school football game, not the new iPhone or limited edition pair of Nike Foamposite shoes. The tickets aren't free either, with students and the like having to shell out hard-earned cash for their seats. Southlake reportedly sold out of its student allotment of tickets in fewer than two days. The lines stretched so far into the school's parking lot that they couldn't even be captured in a single photo from any on-ground angle.
With this type of fandom, a high school Krzyzewski-ville may not be that far away. After all, when 5,000 student tickets aren't enough to satiate demand, a full-fledged phenomenon is underway.
To be fair, part of the excitement is almost certainly related to the opening of Eagle Stadium, the much ballyhooed high school football mecca. The stadium has been covered extensively here at RivalsHigh, but its opening will still generate plenty of buzz.
The $60 million stadium is just the latest example of prep football excess in Texas, following close on the heels of the completion of the nation's largest prep sports Jumbotron at Carthage (Texas) High, to the East of Allen and Southlake near the Louisiana border.
Regardless of what happens on Friday, one set of high school fans who sat in line for hours awaiting tickets is almost sure to be disappointed. Still, it seems almost sure that the atmosphere will be absolutely unique for high school sports.