Don't give up on sportsmanship

Use acrimonious football rivalry as opportunity to create a model of hope

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If you played football this timidly, you’d get crushed.

Either play the game or don’t. If you play it, play it right.

The Warren County and Hancock Central football teams, who famously ended their game last fall with an awful brawl – one that seriously injured Warren County coach David Daniel – are scheduled to meet again Sept. 28 in Warrenton. But they’re talking about barring fans, for security’s sake.

What in the world?

What a statement that would make – that we’ve entered some science fiction movie nightmare in which violence is so ubiquitous that it’s too dangerous for fans to attend a sporting event!

We urge the schools not to give up on sportsmanship so easily.

In fact, the schools – the entire Georgia High School Association, even – could turn the rematch into a spotlight on sportsmanship.

Rather than bar fans, urge them to come – and put on a show that drips with sportsmanship. Pre-game, post-game, halftime – it’s an unprecedented opportunity, in the most unlikely of places, to make a resounding statement about civility and sportsmanship.

Warren County school Superintendent Carole Jean Carey, who has suggested the no-fan rule (outside of parents and school officials), is understandably wary. It was her coach that suffered devastating injuries after being hit with a helmet. (Reports conflict on who hit whom and when, and no charges were filed.) Meanwhile, Hancock County school Superintendent Gwendolyn Jefferson Reeves reports being “elated” at the chance to put the brawl behind the two teams.

We call on them to meet in the middle – to be conscious of Carey’s wariness, but to adopt Jefferson Reeves’ forward-looking view.

Between the two of them, we’re certain the game could be used as a turnaround model of hope and sportsmanship – one that the entire state and region could learn from and be inspired by.

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desertcat6
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desertcat6 05/05/12 - 05:08 am
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Barring fans? Typical over

Barring fans? Typical over reaction that will do nothing to bring these communities together. Why not invite parents, students and boosters to a meet and greet event the night before hosted by a willing sponsor, and only sell tickets there. Make them sign a pledge of good behavior and sit with an opposing team fan. Oh, and increase police security at the game. So many ways to move forward, but barring fans is just a knee jerk poorly thought out way to cover someones hindquarters.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 05/05/12 - 05:23 am
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If one side feels threatened,

If one side feels threatened, can't they just shoot the other guys?

Retired Army
17512
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Retired Army 05/05/12 - 07:35 am
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Nah, tech, "Stand Your

Nah, tech, "Stand Your Ground" laws are only for the Home team. :)

copperhead
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copperhead 05/05/12 - 08:52 am
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LIBERALS! WHAT NONSENSE!

LIBERALS! WHAT NONSENSE!

FriedFacts
61
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FriedFacts 05/05/12 - 09:04 am
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I believe in Georgia the
Unpublished

I believe in Georgia the visiting team gets the gate receipts. So this could be a poorly thought out way to get back at Hancock. This game could be a tremendous opportunity as the editorial states, plus draw a huge crowd. Plus, Warren County is going to win anyway. Heh.

Bizkit
33071
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Bizkit 05/05/12 - 09:14 am
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I seem to remember a few of

I seem to remember a few of my classmates brawling with the other team after a game. Shucks I remember fightin almost every day-either in school or afterwards-I grew up with a bunch of crazy yahoos who thought they were Spartans. I guess I was wimpy in elementary school, but after fightin my way to high school the tide turned. We've always been a violent culture-now we just dramatize, moralize, legalize, and bunch of other izes. Now will be the onslaught of blaming progressivism, universalism, atheism, and a bunch of isms. Proceed with caution! I do remember sportsmanship but it died. The NYTimes missed that headline. Sportsmanship is dead. Baby boomers had a number of sports heroes-all of which have been shot down spoiling the illusion. Call me naive but I think we need heroes, I'd like to believe in sportsmanship again, but I think all that is just crazy myth- like many lament with that crazy belief in Yahweh.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 05/05/12 - 10:35 am
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Deja Vu. Wow. Boy I remember

Deja Vu. Wow. Boy I remember the smell of sweat, a handfull of salt pills, the crack of collar bones, tibias, and ulnas,concussions (gee where am I), a pile on, the board-freakin terror, tryin everything in your power to take out your opponent (and this is during practice), the coaches building my character by calling every derogatory term they could think of. Sportsmanship. I guess it did make me a man-if you consider a man as someone who would enjoy puttin you in the hospital. Funny- violent in sports and your a hero, violence in society and you end up in jail. Growin up can be so confusin'. Get it! hee,hee,hee :)

Jake
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Jake 05/05/12 - 11:08 am
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You brought back a lot of

You brought back a lot of memories with your 10:35, Bizkit. Especially what it is like to be at the bottom of the pile and people keep falling on you and you feel like your eyes are about to pop out.

faithson
5265
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faithson 05/05/12 - 11:41 am
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biz; remember well coach

biz; remember well coach replacing the DE because I was getting by him to show 'everyone' how it was done. I took a beating about 3 times in a row on that one... and if you haven't had had a breathing dragon in your face for missing a tackle, you haven't lived. amazing how resilient young boys really are... it's that 'protective parent' thing and to many lawyers that have spoiled the stew.

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