The Green Mile
September 13, 2014
Death Row at Cold Mountian Penitentiary during the Depression was a tough place to find yourself. In the 1999 hit film "The Green Mile", the late Michael Clarke Duncan captured an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of John Coffey-a giant of a man convicted of murder. Despite his sweet spirit and mystical powers, Coffey ultimately had to walk the so called "green mile" at Cold Mountian-the path that led to the electric chair.
When Corey Green accepted the Head Coaching position at Bradford last summer, he no doubt looked at the schedule he inherited and knew that a stay of execution was unlikely. There was no way to navigate around the inevitable. The slate was front loaded with week-after-week of talented teams that would show no mercy.
Let's call it Corey's version of The Green Mile.
Bradford opened the season against two 5A powers in Suwannee and Baker County. Their repreive? An opportunity to finally do battle with a 4A school. But that school happened to be Ft. White-who has 5 consecutive post season berths to their credit.
This Friday the Tornadoes open District play at the Villages-an up-and-coming program, and a trip to 5A Palatka the following week will mark the halfway point of the regular season.
What's next? The Seahawks and Patriots?
At this point, a young Bradford squad is simply not ready to strap it on and survive this kind of murderer's row. Corey and his staff must patiently take the painful steps down the Green Mile, knowing his team is a work-in-progress.
It would be easy to surmise that Bradford's season is in danger with Ol' Sparky looming in the room ahead. The 2014 schedule has the feel of a death sentence and the Tornadoes have no choice but to follow the path that lies ahead.
For John Coffey, the Governor never called . John asked that the traditional black hood not be placed over his head because he "was afraid of the dark." He was able to look his executioners straight in the eye as the switch was pulled.
Corey Green is fully aware that with a young team and a brutal schedule, their present fate is perilous at best. But he appears to be the type of Coach that is willing to stare down the executioners that now have their hand on the switch. In time, the phone on the wall will light up, Bradford will be freed to face a kinder fate- and roles will be reversed.
Until then, Corey must keep his chin up as he follows the lonely steps that make up the Green Mile.