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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

We Can't Lose




I watch/read very little news, to the point where I am borderline ignorant.  Do trending videos count as news?  Didn't think so.  But in the past few hours one story made its way past my nonsense filters.  A lopsided high school football win is the subject of a bullying case.  Texas high school football is a pretty big deal.  Buzz Bissinger documented it, quite nicely, in his book Friday Night Lights.  Peter Berg made a pretty crappy movie about said movie.  Then NBC picked it up and created a revered show making you almost forget Berg's crappy movie.

As in most things, the truth is stranger than the fiction.  And truth is, sometimes one team is pretty darn good, and the opponent, not so much.  All accounts from this game suggest the winning coach called off the dogs when the rout was on.  He had his return men call fair catches.  He emptied his bench and played the second and third team all of the second half.

Most importantly, the losing coach saw nothing wrong with what happened, how the opposing team and coach and team handled their business, or the insane final score.  91-0 is a straight up beating.

But, this is 2013.  This is the age of bullying.   More specifically, its the age of bullying laws.

This is not to discount the reality of bullying and its sometimes brutal consequences.  In Florida for instance a young girl took her life and her online abusers were arrested.  Calling someone awful names, day in and day out, is wrong, plain and simple.

Putting two teams against one another and keeping score is called competitive athletics.  There should be a result: win, lose or tie.

Having been through my share of wins and defeats I can tell you this, they are both essential learning/teaching moments.  For the record, a loss by 1 point stings a whole lot more than 91.  Clearly the losing team was overmatched.  That should give them an incentive to do better, or perhaps give their school's athletic director some careful consideration before scheduling that opponent next year.  One loss does not define a season, or career.  How one responds to said loss can define a kid, and his or her character, for the rest of his or her life.

An angry parent decided to cry bully and take the winning team/coach to task about it.  The protest and attempt to convict the team only shone a light on a game this nation did NOT need to know about.  All around this great land this weekend teams will take a beating not unlike 91-0.  Coaches will do their best (in most cases) to stop the bleeding.

But we have to stop short of taking the effort out of the game at hand.  How do you tell a kid to ease up, or not try so hard?

Will that help the outcome?  What does it teach?

And if the opponent hears that their counterpart is not trying their hardest, how will that effect their (already fragile) psyche?

You win some, and yes, you lose some!!

There is no shame in defeat, only if you fail to learn anything from it.

Let's all understand the difference between losing and being bullied.  Please!!

It is the only way we can get better.  In sports, in politics, in life.

Which gets me back to why I stay away from the news in the first place.  It is, mostly,  a sea of negativity and a countless tally of our losses.

Can a brother get a feel good story???





And if the opponent hears that their counterpart is not trying their hardest, how will that effect their (already fragile) psyche?

You win some, and yes, you lose some!!

There is no shame in defeat, only if you fail to learn anything from it.

Let's all understand the difference between losing and being bullied.  Please!!

It is the only way we can get better.  In sports, in politics, in life.

Which gets me back to why I stay away from the news in the first place.  It is, mostly,  a sea of negativity and a countless tally of our losses.

Can a brother get a feel good story???



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