The Chance to do Good–Ivorywinged1 Speaks

Howdy, folks, I’m posting a guest’s article as I will others when submitted to me for submission to advance discussion and another point of view.

Take it away, Ivorywinged1:

The Chance to do Good
There’s a reason we keep score in athletic contests.  Keeping score is how we find out what works, what doesn’t and how to get better.  And after all isn’t the real objective in all interscholastic athletic competition to create a framework for learning how to learn?  I am gravely concerned about a culture I see more and more now where a performance resulting in perfect failure is sky rocketed to national fame by the abject failure itself.  The values that generate this misplaced empathy are destructive to those it is intended to comfort.  The loss of the game is nothing compared to the degradation of values these, and all kids who hear of this adulation of total ineptitude, will endure due to the misdirected attention and reward generated by this group of high profile, ignorant, ratings seeking adults looking to feel good about themselves by publicly glorifying commiseration with the team that demonstrated the quintessence of failure. 
How about a story that will do the kids some good?  The real opportunity for improvement is in this thought.  Were one to throw a rock into a crowd, one would no doubt hit three people all of whom could literally have done at least as good a job as the coach who fielded a team so devoid of organization, competitive concept and applicable skills as to be incapable of scoring once in a game long enough for the competition to score a hundred points two points at a time.  Oh, but God forbid anyone mention the specter of world class incompetence among those who staff our “institutions of learning.” Or more so a school board so dismissive of, or outright hostile to, the benefits of athletic endeavor as to employ a total no show of a coach.  That’s the message the kids need to hear.  If a plane load of basketballs happened to lose it’s load mid flight, a certain percentage of those balls would, undoubtedly, fall through any random number of basketball hoops prior to hitting the ground.  How is it possible for a coach to guide a group of kids intent on scoring to a result even less successful than random happenstance might promise?  That’s the failure the team ought to be directed to recognize.  That’s the improvement which first needs to take place and from which all future improvements will issue.  The lesson to be learned is the one that teaches a team they are better right now if they just learn how.  That’s education.  That’s progress.  That’s motivation.  That’s why those kids show up each day to practice.  Kids who can-do, will-do, because it’s most fun that way.  Show them the way.  Where is that lesson in this media feeding frenzy of self congratulatory misplaced commiseration?  Sympathy doesn’t help kids do better.  Success does.  Teaching them how to improve is success.  Glorifying failure is child abuse.    
Whoa unto those who deliver unto us the under motivated, over weight, apathetic, value warped youth the very same media louts will complain about in a 60 second segment later in the same broadcast.  Behold the article below.  Probably best read prior to eating.   
That’s my take. 
Dallas Academy Bulldogs, 100-0 losers, gain national attention  

By BARRY HORN / The Dallas Morning News

01:53 PM CST on Saturday, January 24, 2009

 By BARRY HORN / The Dallas Morning News 

 The Dallas Academy Bulldogs, losers of a 100-0 high school girls basketball game last week, have emerged as America’s sweethearts.

They have become the rage of network television. Today, they’re scheduled to appear on two early morning national shows, and the gifts are piling up.

“Everybody who hears the story is sympathetic if not empathetic,” said Andrew Morse, executive producer of Good Morning America Weekend, explaining the media interest. “Everybody has been on a losing side and felt what it must have been to look at the scoreboard as the other team’s point total continued to mount.”

It’s made for a grueling schedule.

The girls were up late Thursday night to participate in a faux practice taped by ABC’s World News. After the report that mentioned the final score, their traditional losing ways and their learning problems was broadcast Friday night, anchor Diane Sawyer, looking straight into the camera, offered a gentle cheer, “And go Bulldogs.”

Early this morning, the girls will be back in the Dallas Academy gym for a segment on ABC’s Good Morning America Weekend. As soon as ABC is finished with them, CBS’ Saturday Early Show will step in to do its interviews.

Presumably, Sunday will be a day of rest. Then everybody will be back in the gym early Monday morning for a scheduled interview with Matt Lauer of NBC’s Today show.

And there has been Mark Cuban’s invitation to be his guests at a Mavericks game as well as a call from Nike about sponsoring a team trip to the Feb. 15 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix. There may be some new uniforms thrown in.

The story unfolded on Jan. 13, when The Covenant School’s team overwhelmed Dallas Academy, 100-0, keeping the pressure on until it reached 100 points. The game was played in an old North Dallas gym with few fans other than parents as witnesses. No media were present. But the score appeared in The Dallas Morning News the following day. It wasn’t until a story about the game appeared in The News that the world took notice.

It was on Thursday, the day the story appeared, that Covenant, a North Dallas Christian School, issued an apology on its Web site, saying its team had achieved “victory without honor” and said it would forfeit the game.

When posted on dallas, the story attracted 665,000 page views, the most since a controversy over who should be the Grapevine High School valedictorian attracted 853,000 in 2008. The season-high story for the Cowboys, perennial Web site favorites, was 300,000 page views in November when Tony Romo took a homeless man to the movies.

E-mails have flooded in from across the country and as far away as China commenting on the story. Most have questioned the motives of Covenant’s coach for “running up” the score. But some have defended the coach for allowing his girls to play to their potential. None have blamed the Covenant players.

The attention has stunned Dallas Academy, which told its side of the story only after it was asked.

“It’s really silly,” said Jim Richardson, the school’s headmaster, who has continually emphasized he has no hard feelings and pointed out that Covenant head of school Kyle Queal once spent time working for him as a substitute at Dallas Academy. “I remember once seeing a 1940s Gary Cooper movie in which people made a big deal about nothing. I think we’re getting there fast.”



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