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:
Dallas Academy Bulldogs, 100-0 losers, gain national attention
01:53 PM CST on Saturday, January 24, 2009
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 news.com, 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.”