OK, so I know going into writing this post that I am going to take some heat if anyone actually reads it. Just know in advance that I am going to try and lay out my assumptions and my viewpoint as simply and as logically as possible. I am writing about all the buzz surrounding the girls high school basketball blowout in Texas that ended with a 100-0 score. See this link if you haven't heard about it http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,482825,00.html. The more I hear about this story the more I want to puke. The latest news is that the coach has been fired for respectfully disagreeing with the school district's assessment that he/the team should be ashamed. If they are saying that he is being fired for not going with the program and backing the public apology that is one thing...albeit not a very stand up and honorable thing. However I would argue that at least some of his firing comes as a result of there needing to be a scapegoat. I also feel that this is a joke.
The thing that makes me sick the most is the message we are sending to our youth and the ungrounded and bogus way that message is being sent. When I first read the headlines I immediately thought wow what kind of asshole ran up the score to 100-0. However as I read the article, and other articles, and saw discussions on TV like Pardon the Interruption I quickly changed my initial judgement. I view this as a message to the kids who won the game saying "Be good......but not too good." What ever happened to being the best you can be? Now I am not some Nazi who thinks everything is kill or be killed and that they should have tried to make it 200-0.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a true sportsman and tend to act with class in most things that I do. My point is that I am a former competitive athlete. I have played hockey at some of the highest levels that you can play (Div I, a cup of coffee in a bad Semi-Pro league). Being a former athlete that has played at an extremely high level of competition I feel as though I can connect with this situation.
First off, let's assume that the coach was a completely classless character who told his girls to run up the score no matter what. Think Karate Kid and the Cobra Kai Dojo. Even if that was the case I can guarantee that as the score escalated and the girls settled into the game and saw the lack of talent on the opposing side they let up. Even if one or two girls were rabid dogs and refused to let up, I can guarantee that some of them did and that the overall play of the team let up. Now in the coaches statement he said that he did not run up the score. Do we believe him? Maybe, and judging by the way he publicly went against the school district's policy I think we should. I know that if I felt I did the right thing and was hung out to dry that I would act in a similar manner; by standing up for what I felt was right regardless of the consequences.
I just can't get over the fact that these girls along with their newly unemployed coach are taking the brunt of the pain from this. If you read this article you will see that the team they beat has learning disabilities and hasn't won a game in year's. My question is why are these team's playing against each other? This question really resonates with me now that I am a men's league guy who is still trying to live the dream. Some nights you come out and the team you are playing against is pure garbage. You get up by 10 goals and the other team starts cheap shotting you and yet all of a sudden you are the bad guy. Well wait a minute here, I didn't sign you up for this league. In fact I paid the exact amount you did to experience the joy and healthy competition of the league. Who's fault is it that you aren't as good as me or my team? Is it my fault? Should I feel ashamed? I don't think so. I busted my ass for years to get to where I am and the truth of the matter is that I never scored enough goals or won enough games in my life to go out and be "good.....but not too good" against the other teams I play against. Like I said earlier you do let up out there when you start to win by a large margin. Its just human nature. The funny part is that almost without fail, your next game you come out feeling pretty good and you get shelled 7-2 by the next team in the league. If you want to see this in action in the real world look at business. Our government already wants to put windfall profits taxes on companies. You can make money but we decide how much is fair or appropriate. This also came to light during this year's election with regard to taxes. It's only fair to take what you made and give it to those who need it.
Getting back to basketball, I think it is an interesting paradox that the very people who are most likely responsible for these two teams playing each other (the school district) are the ones who are appalled with the outcome. So is it all the school district's fault? Well I don't want to go down that slippery slope either because then we get into this debate of whether or not its the government's or administrations role to regulate what is fair and who plays who etc. See taxes argument above. I am merely saying that my conclusion is this. I think its garbage that these girls and their coach are being lambasted in the media for being excellent. I think the media in an effort to sell papers frames the story to read like they deliberately ran the score up on a weaker opponent when it was clear that the game was a blowout before it started and they likely let up (my arguments above and the team only scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and they were up by 25 midway through the first). I think the lesson learned here is to be as good as you possibly can be at whatever you do, do in your heart what you know is right, and let anyone who doesn't like it bitch about it as you pass them by working to become a better person achieving more and more than you ever thought you could.