Football Rivalry Sacrifices Good Sportsmanship
Monday, October 19, 2015
Miami Central retained the coveted ‘Commissioners Cup’ in the local high school football match-up against Miami Northwestern. As the trash-talking about the game subsides, it seems what happened after the game is a hot topic on social media.
Here’s what popular Miami Central alum DC Clark wrote on Facebook:
The Fruit Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree:
By now everyone knows that Central defeated Northwestern in football this weekend. But the bigger story is our student athletes failed to shake hands after the game. After a player from one team stomped on a player from another team while he was lying on the turf cramping, the coaches felt it was best for the players to go directly to the bus without shaking hands. In hindsight, the better move should've been to line them up, tell them beforehand that if anyone say and do something out of the ordinary they will be kicked off the team, and proceed to shake the opposing team's hand.
This rivalry has been very heated over the years with Alumni and former coaches coaching at each other's school. Most of the players played with each other growing up. So things are a little more heated than most. But what most Alumni and students don't know is both Alumni Associations are working together through ICARE (Inner City Alumni for Responsible Education) to solve the problems that plague us all. Also both Alumni Associations put in $1,500 each to hold a Joint Tailgate Party before the game. (Funds came from our Commissioners). But what our students mostly see is all the shit talking we do leading up to the game.
In the final analysis, we as adults have to do a better job in conveying to our children that it's just a game. We have to let them know that most of us know each other and in some cases are relatives of one another. Ultimately we have to let them know IT'S NOT THAT SERIOUS. Remember from birth, our children mimic everything they see us do. If they think we place winning and losing a football game before everything else then they will do the same thing. And with some of them belonging to gangs and carrying weapons, things can turn ugly real fast. It is up to us to let our children know that it's only a game and it’ s not life and death.
Here are a few responses to Clark’s post:
At the end of the day, this is another teachable moment for the student-athletes at all schools and for the adults in their lives. I agree that football is not that serious, it's just a game. The reality for many boys is different, it's very serious. For many of them, their parents see football as an opportunity out of poverty and a better life for the family. Their coaches want to win. That's a lot of pressure for a child. Adults have fed the goal of attaining riches and fame to these young boys’ psyche since the pee wee leagues. Sports has been stressed more than academics for many, if not most, of these boys and now we expect them to behave in a civilized manner when losing against a rival in an important community competition?
The unsportsmanlike conduct between the players at Central and Northwestern needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. The principals and coaching staffs of both schools should meet on neutral ground, discuss the behavior, and shake hands like men. Anyone not willing to follow the rules should be removed from the team regardless of their playing ability and status. It’s simple, very simple.
Like Blogging Black Miami on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.