Marijuana, Humboldt, and Football: The Mixture as Seen in a Sports Illustrated Article

South fork cubs football COle Moody

Cole Moody (#34), quoted in the Sports Illustrated article, is shown here with fellow South Fork Cub football players Danny Savioe (#17) and Troy Langely (#5), after a 2014 game. [Photographer Ella Scott]

Starting with the smell of growing marijuana wafting across a football field and ending with a sentimental paragraph on a former soldier playing football for HSU wearing his father’s jersey number while being supported by a business that sells to cannabis growers, we guarantee you haven’t read anything like today’s Sports Illustrated’s article. The story entitled Marijuana changing the culture of high school football in Humboldt is a different angle on our unique community.

South Fork High School and the HSU Lumberjacks get the lion’s share of the coverage but a sprinkling of local folks spice the piece including a quote from this reporter.

Why do writers from around the world come here to cover our community? We think Luke Brenner’s quote from the article sums up the fascination of looking at the Emerald Triangle culture. “What you’re seeing here are the last days of the Wild West….The laws are changing. You’ll never have another generation of kids who have this experience of living like outlaws. This is the last of it.”

Check out the story and let us know what you think.



  • Articles like these only contribute to Humboldt County’s deteriorating reputation.

    I have to constantly tell out of the area friends & family most people here don’t even smoke pot much less grow it.

    • Sometimes I have to say, John, Northern Humboldt and Southern Humboldt are two very different worlds. By most estimates over 50% of people in SoHum are somehow connected to the marijuana industry.

    • John
      But, you would be wrong. I don’t, and you don’t, but if you are out there in the world at all you will find that it is almost all pervasive. It’s more than just a perception. My guess is that it is at least 80% of the SoHum economy.

    • OMG are u kidding me??? That isnsych a joke!!! There are TONS of pot growers there and people smoke everywhere there!!! Who are u trying to kid?? That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in forever

  • Did that pic make the article ? If so that’s pretty cool that Cole made SI !

  • Back when I played football for College of the Redwoods years 1982 and 1983 we were Golden Valley Conference champions the lumber industry greatly sponsored in our behalf during those years never would have thought it would turn out like this that the pot industry supports it ,but kym is right so hum ,and Northern Hum two different entities. Completely .I grew up in so hum now I live in north hum boldt .for better or worse .I was born here and I’ll die here.

  • Luke Brunner is a poser

    I agree that articles written like this givethe rest if the world a weird perception. Its always hard to read articles that are about you or your life in some way and not pick apart the parts you deem as wrong. I’m guilty of this too. But seriously, I’m so sick of that luke Brunner guy popping up. He dies not represent old school Humboldt families growing herbm. He’s just another fascists capatalistic who has a lot of gumption to call himself a farmer. Wendell berry is rolling over, and he’s not even dead, when he hears pot growers saying they are farmers. There is a difference. And having lived both places as well, definitely different worlds that interact daily though. So please, luke Brunner, if you read this,quit slithering your way into the lives of people you don’t know or understand. Go get a desk job and frig off


    My opinion is don’t attach a picture of kids to this article! If you want to put faces to an article lets talk about their accomplishments.These three have had MANY! Sorry for my FRUSTRATIONS over this! LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER(NOT POT) PROUD FAN OF OUR YOUTH!Shame on you Matt don’t act like St.B’s LOCKER DOESN’T STINK! Thank you for listening!

    • I’m a fan of our Cubs, too. Those faces and that photo (taken by one of our 2016 seniors) show a joy in life that I wanted to convey. Why shouldn’t they be proud of themselves? Moody is mentioned in the article as getting the 2014 scholar athlete award for California. Those are the faces of Humboldt youth and we should celebrate them.

  • Thats funny the last days of the wild west. What a joke the days are just beginning take a look around. More fire arms than ever on the black market more weed growing than ever and will continue with no doubt in my mind as the out of towners continue to pile into town by the truckloads. With legal authorized gardens on the way the black market is just getting going. Not to mention the many many cannabis clubs owned by out of the country investors just take a look around. It is getting more thuggish ruggish everyday. I have never seen so many black people in southern humboldt its outrageous.

    • “With legal authorized gardens on the way the black market is just getting going”.

      You contradict yourself which renders your post specious: just plain WRONG.

    • OMG, black people….Okay, folks, I’ve a certain leaning towards Humboldt for Humboldt folks myself but this xenophobia is getting way out of hand. People are people. I know locals whose grows are a disgusting mess and non-locals who are the some of the most caring, earth-friendly farmers I know.

      Could we stick to discussing the real problems? Let’s not discuss the color of someone’s skin or even whether they come from Bulgaria or New York.

      • I don’t care what color you are, or where you came from. But from my experience, a lot of the eastern Europeans around here are disrespectful and most likely connected to violent organized criminals. I think it would be interesting to see someone investigate the Bulgarian Invasion. Seems like another cartel is here, setting up shop.

      • why that is the root of our problem is out of towners is it not kim? Did i miss something. Your right it doesnt matter wheather people that are ghetto thugs from new york show up fuck it they are great people. Your right who cares about international people coming here to pump yours and mine beautiful rivers to shit. Cant we all just get along and kill the fish together. Thats a great attitude that attitude someday will ruin what is left of our once beautiful area. To say peoples race doesnt matter is bogus because it does just take a look at the pines before the laotions or vietnamese or whoever moved in there were tons of deer and squirrel now darn near none. call that racist and put it in your pipe and smoke it.

        • I don’t think the ROOT of our problem is out of towners. I think the root of our problem is people who think their right to make money comes at the expense of everyone’s environment. I know born and bred here locals who should be ashamed to show their faces at community events and I know folks who were born in Europe who have lovely small gardens.

          Do I think sometimes someone’s culture and/or lack of understanding of our particular environment hinders them using best practices for our steep hillsides, wet winters and dry summers? Yes. But I’d rather work with someone who is willing to learn than someone who has had every reason to be informed and still chooses to destroy our creeks.

          And, you may be a good neighbor and an environmentalist but if you make statements like this, “I have never seen so many black people in southern humboldt its outrageous.” Then I have to think you are part of the problem.

  • Seems like a pretty good article but even though I’ve lived in Humboldt since 1950 (all in Eureka area), I can’t say if it’s accurate or not, as it was after my time. I do know one thing, no matter what your parents do or did for a living, most kids will defend them. Children look up to their parents almost no matter what, that’s why it’s so important to be careful while raising them. I’m not saying pot is bad, just the illegal nature of it must be hard on the impressionable little ones.

  • People just need to worry about themselves. I’ve seen “Bulgarian” and “new Yorker” grows clean as a whistle.compared to the silver spoon fed 20 or 30 something local boys that buy and wreck a new truck every season and trash a property that they would have never acquired without luck. Doesn’t matter where your from. Good is good. Greedy and destructive is …well greedy and destructive

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