Monday, October 10, 2011

A Teachable Moment (But is it being used that way?)

The Seattle Times is reporting that the Ballard and Garfield football teams got in a brawl last Friday night at Ballard's homecoming game.  The Beavers were up 26-0 with five minutes left and going for a two-point conversion.  It failed and, to the Ballard coach, it looked like his quarterback took a late hit but there was no penalty.  A Ballard player pulled the Garfield player off the quarterback and the Garfield player threw a punch. 

Game on and the benches cleared.  It all got settled down with no one hurt.  The officials did eject 8 players from the game ( 3 from Ballard and 5 from Garfield) and they will all be ineligible to play this week. 

This is the second incident this season for Garfield.  Their coach had been suspended after the first incident and an interim coach was in charge at this game.  Last year, two of their coaches had to resign after playing ineligible players. 

I would suggest that the principal at Garfield and the district athletic director get this situation under control.  Garfield does not seem to be promoting a good playing attitude.   For any player, being on a team carries the responsibility to behave with respect for the other team and to honor your own team.  Any player who can't do that should be let go. 

To note, BOTH teams got involved here.  But here's what the Ballard coach, Joey Thomas, had to say:

"It's a sad day in Beaver nation," said Thomas, a 1999 Kennedy High School graduate who went on to earn All-America honors at Montana State and enjoy a five-year professional career. "We'd like to show more class and more integrity than that. But we'll use it as a teaching moment."

Here's what David Myers, Garfield's interim coach, had to say:

"We really don't have anything to say about it," Myers said.

That's a big difference.  I wonder what Coach Taylor would say. 


Jamie said...

I was at that game (my kid is in the BHS band) and it was a bizarre situation. Ballard had just scored a touchdown so the band was playing the fight song and then all of a sudden boys from both teams' benches are sprinting onto the field to jump into the melee - no one really could tell what was happening so the band continued to play. I was proud of the Ballard coaches who sat the entire team down on the sideline and chewed them out, big time.

CCM said...

That's so ridiculous, but sadly seems to be tolerated in so many athletic arenas all the way up through the professional ranks.

Kudos to the Ballard coaches for seeing the opportunity to teach their kids that the behavior won't be tolerated.

To Garfield (most likely our child's school next year if we don't jump ship) - the football team should forfeit their next game - although it won't make much of a difference to their season, as they aren't playing well anyway. I wonder why they aren't playing well - maybe due to the fact that it isn't a well-run program and personal responsibility and respect don't seem to be valued.


Anonymous said...

Nothing to say about it? Really? How about, "my players did something wrong, but as the coach, I take responsibility for it or will make sure it doesn't happen again." At least pretend you care!

Where is the accountability? And where are these kids going to learn sportsmanship if not from the coach?

Come on Myers. Step up. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Let's not put all the blame on the Bulldogs, it sounds like the Beavers were running up the score. No respectable coach should call for a two point conversion when your team is leading 26-0 near the end of the game.

- RB 1986

Jamie said...

Both teams are to blame, definitely. I saw them all head out to the field to join the fray. However, I don't know what was up with the BHS kicker - either he wasn't the usual kicker or was having an off night or something, but he'd missed one conversion already and had another kick blocked completely, so maybe that's why BHS was going for 2. Who knows, but the entire situation was unfortunate.

Melissa Westbrook said...

RB, give me a break. Going for a two-point conversion is not running up the score. It's trying a more difficult score when you have the opportunity.

And that's a reason to start a fight?

Jet City mom said...

It's inappropriate for a team to pull out of the game just because they are ahead.
This is high school, not nursery school.

Charlie Mas said...

The play had already failed by the time the hit was put on the Ballard quarterback.

Garfield forfeited a game this year in protest of late whistles that endangered players. Kinda ironic that this fight started over a perceived late hit by a Garfield player.

Is there a real problem with late whistles by the officials?

Anonymous said...

Ask anyone who plays or coaches football and they will tell you that the standard protocol and honorable thing to do in this situation is to kick the extra point.

- RB 1986

Eric M said...

Ironic that the Ballard Fight Song was being played during the fight.

Perhaps it should be renamed the "Let's sit down and negotiate like sensible adults" song.

This from a country where the sensible adults have 2 undeclared wars taking place, one that has now lasted MORE THAN A DECADE.

Ironic on a lot of levels.

Anonymous said...

RB: I'm not blaming whoever started the fight. I'm blaming the Garfield Coach for not publicly taking ownership of what his team did like Ballard's coach did.

Players act out, fight, do dirty stuff all the time. We know that. The point is that it's never to be tolerated, excused or downplayed, or it only gets worse. A lot worse.

It ain't right and the players know it ain't right. Accountability and consequences should therefore be forthcoming to all involved. WSDWG

Jan said...

WSDWG: According to the Seattle Times article, the Ballard coach said he was satisfied that the GHS coach was responding appropriately. I am not sure what he meant (it was a general comment), beyond the suspensions given -- but I assume it means the GHS coach's "take" on the situation and its inappropriateness was on target. I agree that the BHS coach rose to the occasion better here. He was articulately dismayed. His words reflected well on the character of BHS and athletic coaches everywhere. But given that he volunteered that he thought the GHS coach was also responding appropriately, I wonder whether this was perhaps not just a matter of one coach being more articulate, more mature, perhaps more capable of recognizing and rising to a "teachable moment" than the other. GHS currently has only an interim coach -- plunked (or raised) into that position when its regular coach was suspended a month ago. Maybe the GHS coach had no comment just because he was mortified and didn't know, at that point, exactly how to express it in words. Hope so anyway.