WALTON | After an exhaustive regional championship win in five overtimes, Andrean football coach Phil Mason said he was happy for his team, happy for his seniors, and most importantly, happy for his family.
"I'm more happy for my family than I am for me," Mason said. "They carry, and my wife carries the burden of this for eight more months."
Dee Mason has to sit in the stands and listen to fans yell at her husband and question his calls.
She has to sit at home and wonder as he questions them to himself.
Winning by a massive 67-66 score on Friday means the regional monkey is off of Mason's back. The 59ers have won four sectional championships in five years under Mason, but this is the first regional since 2004.
Mason doesn't have to question what happened to Andrean, again.
He doesn't have to listen to pundits, reporters or people on message boards. He doesn't have to second-guess a call, second-guess a play, second-guess a moment of Friday's game until August.
Neither do his players. Neither do their parents. Most importantly, neither does Dee Mason.
Dee Mason represents every coach's wife in the region and in the state.
They sit quietly by while their husbands are scrutinized. Why did he start a sophomore quarterback last season? Whey did he call that play? How could his team possibly lose in the opening round of the sectional?
How did the Niners lose this season at all? Was he just trying to run up the score against Wheeler in the sectional this season?
If fans think coaches don't know those questions are asked out loud, they don't realize how vocal they can really be.
Television, newspapers, radio, message boards, social media, multimedia, at the grocery store, at the bank, you name it, every question will find Phil and Dee Mason.
Not only do these questions haunt Phil, they haunt everyone around him.
His wife isn't expected to yell back at fans in the stands, or defend her husband on the internet.
Could you only imagine?
Instead, she stands by his side.
In the rare moments of exhaustive joy, when it takes five overtimes to shake eight years of questions, Phil Mason remembered Dee, and what he could do for her piece of mind for the next eight months.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.