Bloomington, Ind. - There's a Lynch family reunion scheduled for Saturday in Muncie.
When the Hoosiers take on Ball State at 6:30 p.m. in Muncie, the elder Lynch, Bill, will be in the Indiana coaches box in the Scheumann Stadium. His oldest son, 28-year-old Billy, will be roaming the IU sidelines coaching the Hoosier wide receivers, while his youngest son, Kevin, 19, will be making the trip from his own game at Franklin to sit in the stands to watch the match-up.
The middle son – 22-year-old Joey – will be on the opposite sideline, quarterbacking Ball State as the MAC team tries to spring an upset against its Big Ten counterpart.
The only immediate family member whose location is still a bit unaccounted for is Bill's wife, Linda, who is probably having the toughest time dealing with this family football tug-of-war.
"She'll probably be in the car," joked Billy.
While Bill, Billy and Joey have had the distraction of preparing for this weekend's contest pitting a pair of 1-0 teams, it's Linda who is left in the middle, a situation she'll probably be glad to have behind her on Sunday.
"She's not really enjoying this week too much," Bill said. "I've said to people I want to take myself out of the equation and see which son she really likes the best."
"I know the answer to that," responded Billy.
Billy also thinks that the youngest son, Kevin, wouldn't be as torn over the game's outcome if it was just the two siblings going head to head, but he thinks the father's influence could carry some weight as well.
"I'd say if it was just me vs. Joey, he'd be pulling for Joey 100 percent," Billy said. "But because he is at that private school getting a good education and (Bill) is paying for it, I'd say he's a little more in the middle."
For the three competitors, though, the task of preparing for the game has served as a good distraction to a situation that might not be unique, but is certainly unusual. It's also been an added bonus that both Lynches coach the offensive side and won't have to worry about scheming how to slow down Joey and the Cardinal offense.
"The game of football is so specialized now," Bill said. "We are on offense. We have our hands full trying to figure out a way to get a first down, let alone trying to stop the other team's quarterback. That part has made it a little bit easier on all of us."
Even when the Hoosier offense is off the field, the Lynches won't have much of an opportunity to focus on what kind of game Joey is having.
"That's the time…you're doing the communication with the other offensive staff guys," Bill said. "You might be talking to the offensive line coach about protection, you might be talking to the running backs coach about something he sees, I'm in the box with our quarterbacks coach Matt Canada, and Billy is on the field.
"That's when we do our communicating…all you're concerned about is when it gets to third down so you know you have to be ready to go back on the field."
Billy, meanwhile, has been a bit relieved in the fact that the week's preparation has kept him from thinking a great deal about competing against his brother.
"All along you get asked questions and you say it will be just another game, but deep down you don't know if it's going to be like that," Billy said. "But true to form, you get in there Sunday and start breaking down coverages, it really becomes a distant part of it."
It likely won't be until after the day after the game that Bill think he'll have a good chance to sit down and watch the game film and take a closer look at how his middle son performs against the Hoosiers. He also says that once the final horn sounds, there won't be a bigger fan of the Cardinals than him, who coached Ball State from 1995-02.
"As soon as it's over, I'm going to pull for them as hard as I can for the next 10 weeks," Bill said.
Family Feud Brewing in Muncie
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