The Press Box For Dec. 6
No matter how hard some people try to make things better, no matter how much time and effort a parent or coach may put in to teach kids about sportsmanship, fairness, attitude, right from wrong and just plain doing the right thing even when it may not be a part of the rules.
There will always be those who thrive off of not only doing but teaching just the opposite. I mean fair is fair and right is right every time, but wrong is also wrong every time.
I have to give some examples here because I know this will be a controversial subject, so lets start with something that doesn’t apply to sports. This past Friday, December 1, (you know the first of the month) when the already busy Rt. 2 is even busier. I was stopped in a long line of traffic at the red light by the four lane in New Martinsville, heading north.
About 16 cars and trucks in front of me and a blue truck behind me who seemed to be in a hurry. When the light changes, the blue truck gets in the passing lane and passes all 16 vehicles. The speed limit is 45 and I was going about that. I would estimate the blue truck (and by the way, I know who was driving it, so it was no surprise) was going near 70 just to get in front of everyone.
Anyway, as always happens (just like the bumper sticker say’s, see you at the next red light) the light at the plaza turned red and we all got stopped again (including the blue truck, even though it was surprising he even stopped) but as soon as the light changed it was once again pedal to the metal, only to forget his turn signal and pull in to the local credit union, some 200 ft. from the light.
I couldn’t help myself, I also turned into the lot, me, being sixteen vehicles behind him and with the help of the light at the plaza I was able to get there just as the idiot was exiting his truck.
He really got a long ways for all the harm he could have caused and for all the laws he broke. What I witnessed was wrong, totally wrong and maybe not this time but sometime, somewhere and someplace it will catch up to him. Someday, it will cause irreparable harm to some innocent victim.
That was just one example of wrong being wrong, I could name many others but time and space won’t allow if I’m going to get to the point. A couple years ago there was a big uproar over the score in the Class A state championship game. Oh, Magnolia won big over East Hardy. It was so big it embarrassed some local teams who had lost to East Hardy, so they had to write about it. Tell everyone what a jerk the coach was and what bad sports they were for not holding the score down. They even took it another level and tried to turn parents against the coach for not letting everyone play. I’m not a huge Magnolia sports fan, but I could see what was going on. Because a certain team up the river never made it to the finals, they made a big deal out of it.
However it really wasn’t that bad, It was a football game with everything on the line. When I went back and checked it wasn’t even the most lopsided game that season. In fact East Hardy had won over a couple opponents during the regular season by larger amounts. So, it wasn’t wrong, and it may not have been right, but it was fair.
This past week on Friday night there was another prime example of wrong being wrong, much like the example I spoke of earlier. Although no real physical damage or injury may have occurred, the example set is sure to have future reprocussions.
I watch people in our neighborhoods who have absolutely no respect for their elders or for the people around them. The language they use, the noise they make and constant disruption they cause is a result of what they have been taught and are examples of how they’ve been raised.
The sports example I’m referring to occurred on Friday, it was a girls basketball game between two Class A schools that ended 90-9. No excuse for it. Even if the winning team pulled all of it’s starters in the first quarter. There is no way it should have ended that way. To embarrass a team in that fashion is irreparable harm. As a coach, to allow that to happen is inexcusable.
When a team is so over matched that they can’t even compete, the right thing to to is even things up. Some say, oh you can’t tell your kids not to play hard, you can’t hold them back. Well that may be so in most circumstances but it’s not right when the opposition is beaten down and can’t get up.
It’s just plain bad sportsmanship, no way around it and the winning coach should be ashamed. It’s as wrong as wrong can get. It’s one of those things that can destroy the joy of a kid belonging to a high school team. It can destroy a schools program. In a time when it’s tough for small schools to field a team, there are those out to destroy them. And why do they do it? I’ll tell you why! Because they can, it makes them feel good, just like the guy who can speed up the highway passing people left and right, it makes them great in their own eyes. While they are really an embarrassment to themselves and their schools and families. And quite often because of their positions we become a part of it as we sit by and say nothing. email@example.com.