THE COUCH

Written by Wyatt Metzger
8/2/2020

God Bless Goodwill and God Bless that Couch. 



I always find it funny that my favorite high school sports memory came as a spectator and a fan rather than as a player. You see, I attended Guerin Catholic high school, played four years of varsity tennis, and loved every second of it. There’s a certain atmosphere at a small school that only those who experienced it can truly understand. For a school of barely 800 students, we usually managed a respectable student section at sporting events, and for the most part our teams were able to hold their own against the big public powerhouses that surrounded us. My senior year I was elected as one of the leaders of our student section. (I’m still convinced I was only elected because I clearly didn’t go to parties on weekends, so I had nothing better to do than attend the games. But that’s beside the point.) My loyalty was obvious with my tennis team during the fall, but after we were eliminated from the state tournament in early October, my focus turned to creating the rowdiest student section in the state. And that’s when shit got wild. 


Back in 2017, any Guerin Catholic student would agree that our best all-around sports team was girls soccer. With D1 players scattered across our starting eleven, it felt like the damn dream team. Heading into the state tournament, it was obvious that the only hurdle between our team and a state championship was the Carmel Greyhounds. Now, if I had a dollar for every time I have uttered the phrase “Fuck Carmel,” I’d probably give Mr. Bezos a run for his money. I say that out of total respect too. Carmel just wins. Plain and simple. They always have, and always will. That fact alone will naturally create enemies, and because the IHSAA hates the little guys, we just happened to face that enemy in Sectionals. Heading into that game, everyone knew beating Carmel meant a good chance at a state championship. The other leaders and I knew we had to go BIG for this game. Saturday night, under the lights, we were hosting. Let’s fill the place. The day of the game we start brainstorming ideas. I still don’t know what our rationale was, but for some reason we thought “let’s buy a couch”. Obviously, there’s nothing more unifying than a piece of furniture. (Again, no clue what our thought process was). Long story short, we stopped by GoodWill (it was the first Saturday of the month, which meant 50% off the whole store. HUGE.) We just so happened to find an all-white, old ass couch for $10. Yes. Ten. Dollars. We threw it into the back of my buddy’s F-150 and brought it out to “the hill” which doubled as our student section. We then acquired what had to be an illegal amount of spray paint to give it the iconic purple shade. Now, the soccer game that night should be a story all by itself. To this day, it’s the craziest atmosphere I’ve ever been a part of at any level. Never seen anything like it, but that’s not my story to tell. This is about the couch. 

 
 

As you can probably guess, Guerin prevailed in that game against Carmel and moved onto the next round. A few of my friends on that soccer team joked with me the next week about the couch being “lucky” and that we had to bring it to Regionals. So, that’s exactly what we did. We put the couch right back in the F-150, brought it to the game, and they kept winning. Wash, rinse, repeat. We were regional champions and officially had a good luck charm. Next step, semi-state.


This round was without a doubt our biggest challenge logistically. The semi-state game took place in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. For those unfamiliar with Lawrenceburg, it’s about as close as you can get to Cincinnati while still being in Indy. In other words, a two hour drive. Did we have the proper equipment to strap a couch down in a truck bed? No. Did we find a way to get the couch there while only losing one cushion on I-465? Hell yeah we did. We considered that cushion a necessary loss. The couch had to make it to the game.

 
 

The moment that changed everything took place at halftime of semi-state. I believe we had a comfortable lead, so I was relaxing on the couch when a fairly unassuming guy approached me and started asking questions about the couch. The conversation started off with some very casual small talk. Obviously, a couch is a pretty absurd thing to have at a soccer game. Then, the guy asks me if it’s okay if he records our conversation. My brain jumped to two possible conclusions. A) This guy is a cop and I’m in some kind of legal trouble or B) He’s a reporter and I was being interviewed without knowing it. It was the latter. He asked a few more questions and then went on his way. I honestly didn’t think too much of it because there was no chance in hell there would be a story about a freakin’ couch. He’s just doing his job. Fast forward two hours and one semi-state championship later, I’m on my way home, couch in the back, and my phone starts blowing up. In the span of five minutes, twenty different people have sent me a link to an Indy Star article. The title: How Did Guerin Catholic Make It To State? Offense, Defense, and Their Lucky Couch. https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/high-school/2017/10/21/ihsaa-girls-soccer-how-did-guerin-catholic-make-state-offense-defense-and-their-lucky-couch/785965001/


I didn’t know if I should be extremely excited or start laughing my ass off over the absurdity of it all. Right there in the Indy Star were quotes by me about a $10 Goodwill couch. Insane. But I soon came to the realization that this newfound publicity created a lot more problems for us. 


That following Friday, the day of the State Championship, I got called down to the Athletic Director’s office. Oh shit. My mind was racing about what I did wrong, what I said wrong, or any other way I could have fucked up this situation. My AD then informed me that Rich Nye of Channel 13 News was coming to Guerin to interview me and the soccer team, and that I needed to go get the couch immediately. This has to be a joke right. There’s no way I’m leaving school right now to haul a couch back for the fucking news. He most certainly was not joking. I helped get the couch to school in time for the interview, and just before things couldn’t have gotten stranger. I found out that the interview wasn’t going to be about the “lucky couch” specifically. It was going to be about why the IHSAA is banning the couch from the state championship game. Hold up...what?? I was so caught off guard and flustered (which you can clearly see if you look up the interview on YouTube). I didn’t really comprehend everything until after the cameras and everyone cleared out. I then talked to the other student section leaders, and we quickly became the most anti-IHSAA group of people on the planet. Looking back, we would probably be classified as a hate group. Don’t quote me on that. We basically decided then and there that this couch was going to be a part of the game no matter what the IHSAA says.

 
 

That night, we loaded the couch one final time into the back of that F-150. We arrived three hours before gametime in hopes of finding a way to sneak this sucker in. The game took place at Butler University. We tried every avenue possible to illegally get this couch into the game. We snuck into multiple university buildings, made it onto multiple rooftops, but still there was no easy access point. Eventually, as our options dwindled down, we made the executive decision that if the couch wasn’t going to make it in the stadium, we were going to get as hostile as possible towards the IHSAA. Our numbers increased as it got closer to kickoff to the point where we eventually had what could legally be referred to as a mob. At one point we had over 125 students (more than 1/8th of the student body) marching around the stadium chanting “free the couch” at the top of our lungs. You could hear the chants a mile down the street. It was electric. We then propped the couch on the roof of the biggest truck we had there, positioned three spotlights on it, and illuminated it like the fucking bat signal. The couch was now visible from every seat in the stadium. Goal accomplished. Additionally, two more articles were posted by the Indy Star basically roasting the IHSAA for their decision to ban the couch. To this day, it blows my mind how big the whole thing got. No matter how dumb it sounds talking about it, I’m actually super thankful for the entire experience. We may not have brought home a state championship that night, but for one night, the entire school was supporting each other and having one helluva time doing it. I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world. God bless that damn couch.

 
 

PS: Sandra Walter, assistant commissioner of the IHSAA, I am fully aware of the fact that you were the one to make the decision to ban the couch. If I wasn’t the bigger man, I would say you’re a killer of dreams and fun, but I am the bigger man, so have a nice day. 


PSS: Shoutout to that girls soccer team you were incredible. Shoutout to the other leaders that helped with everything: Jake Labus, Jake Bratton, Owen Hargrave, Clay Hepp, and John McCarthy.

 
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