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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Two Stories

Have any of you been following what's going on with two high school coaches, one a girl's basketball coach, and one a varsity football coach?

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/01/26/football.coach.indicted/

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/couch/1398705,CST-SPT-greg27.article


This stuff is so outrageous it makes my blood literally boil. The football one in particular, probably because I credit so much of who I am as a person to having played that sport under what I would argue are some of the toughest coaches in the business. Let me say that having a kid die during two-a-days is a tragedy. Its not funny, he didn't deserve it, and its not a reflection on him as a person, as a man, or as a player.

That being said, football is a tough sport. Gee, what a revelation. There is an inherent danger in practicing in full pads, in the August heat, for two practices a day. But that is what makes football great, it's what teaches kids what it takes to be a winner, where they are forced to find out what they're made of. It sounds so cliche, but fall camp literally takes in boys and spits out men. In my eyes, it is an outrage to try and hold this coach accountable for homicide. First, how is that even legally possible without intent to cause harm? Second, here's a man that undoubtedly does more for the community by taking kids off the street and making them men than anyone else. And you're going to hang him for a freak accident that happens to occur on his watch?

The second article is a little more tricky. I'll start by saying that I'd have to have actually seen the game in order to pass proper judgment on what happened. However, 100-0 does say a lot. But, so long as the winning coach wasn't full court pressing in the second half, launching 3's and playing his starters, what else can you do??? Pass the ball to the other team? That's not competition. If the other team sucks THAT MUCH, then you cannot put the ball in the hoop for them.

I guess what really gets me about this one is that the school fired this coach for speaking his mind after the game, saying that he felt his team had played the game the way it was meant to be played, with honor and that the other team should not be embarrassed.

What happened to competition in this country? There's this pervading attitude that its okay to be mediocre, that trying to be a winner or the best makes you a bad person. That somehow, crowning a winner simultaneously crowns a loser, and that, for whatever reason, this is a bad thing. Gasp, kids might learn about winning and losing, and that, gasp, they might learn about losing more often than winning. Sorry America, you're gonna suck at some things in life. Better to find out so you can spend some energy finding out what you're good at. I found out that I sucked at baseball, I was inconsolable, but I discovered I could be a decent football player, and, luckily by this point I knew what it was going to take to be good at it. Then I got to college and found out I sucked at college football, but discovered that I could be a pretty decent Marine. Again, all because I had learned some pretty valuable lessons from winning and losing along the way.

I'm going to stop writing because I could go on forever. I'll close by saying that my kids wont attend a school that doesn't allow dodgeball because it's mean (and I sucked at dodgeball too).

8 comments:

  1. It seems to me that if you could prosecute the coach for manslaughter, you could prosecute the parents for putting their son in football in the first place. Who was ultimately responsible for their child being in that situation? It was just a freak occurance and a very sad one.

    As for the basketball game, who the heck cares that some little team beat the snot out of another little team - why is this national news? Don't worry about the coach; some team that wants a winning team will snap him up.

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  2. I completely agree on your take on the winning and losing. Someone on one of the Badger message boards worded it quite properly. They described it as the pussification of America. I don't understand what is so bad about cutting a kid from a team. They will then learn what they are good and not good at. If my kid gets cut from a team I will put him in another sport, activity, art class, whatever till he finds what he likes to do and what he is good at.

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  3. Good discussion.

    Do you think high school football practices should be regulated in any way? Hypothetically, what if the temperature is 104 degrees and there is 70% humidity? What if there are nearby lightening strikes? Should practice go on outdoors in conditions like these? If a player drops dead or is struck by lightening and killed, should the coach have any responsibility?

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  4. Lang says you probably sucked at dodgeball bc while being the nerd you were probably the fat kid as well.........thats a lap Farley

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  5. Good points Jake on what winning and losing means. To tell it like you did makes good sense. The Coach who had his player die on his watch, sorry man it it was it is. I know kids are cleared to play and have to take physicals, so in that sense the coach is going in knowing he has healthy players to go through 2-a-days. You cant put the entire blame on the coach, as its also the responsiblity of the player. Better training and undertsanding for both coaches and players is needed to understand these types of medical conditions.I dont know the story but if the kid ask for water, then I think the Coach didn't realize the maganitude of the problem. Hey I to looked up to my coaches and learned some life lessons but I think this could've ended better then the way it did.

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  6. OK, I'll weigh in. The basketball teams were part of a religious conference. The losing team was made up of some kids bordering on special needs. They have not won a game, ever - if I read it right. The ruckus was over a coach and fans screaming to get a 100 point win, shooting 3 pointers well after they had won. There was no way the losers were going to make any kind of showing, just no need to pound them after they were so far behind.

    Competition drove me to be my best when I was challenging someone at my own level or higher. I just don't see a challenge to beat a team that has never won.

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  7. So the problem with the basketball game was that the coach from the winning team didn't let up until the last 3:00 minutes of the game. He kept his team pushing until they got to the 100 point mark. I imagine it wouldn't have been such a big deal had he let up a little sooner and gone for 60-0 instead of 100-0. I also live in Dallas, and I heard that he was fired because he didn't agree with the school publicly apologizing. While they did win, and I can understand the feeling that there was no need to apologize, I think that if your employer chooses to apologize, you should probably go along with it and just shut your mouth.

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