Since we have been discussing the Jets-Patriots brawl, we might as well add a story out of Texas where a coach is facing a charge of “bullying” because his team, Aledo High School, beat Western Hills High School by 91-0. Tim Buchanan will now have to answer for his actions after various parents filed complaints that he allowed his team to do so well. I find this type of objection to be mystifying. I have four kids in sports. I feel bad when they lose but I tell them that you do your best and try harder next time. Moreover, I am not sure what this coach is supposed to do. He has a really good team. Are they supposed to intentionally ground the ball? I think the demeaning thing is not losing to a better team but having your parents demand that they let you score.
Buchanan said that he took out his first string players in the first quarter and went to the second string and then went to his third string. They kept scoring. It was no surprise. His team is 7-0. and has scored 77 points or more in their last four games. They are really good, alright? I agree with Buchanan when he insists “I’m not gonna tell a kid that comes out here and practices six to seven hours a week trying to get ready for football games.’Hey, you can’t score a touchdown if you get in, you’re gonna have to take a knee,’ cause that may be the only touchdown that kid gets to score in his high school career.”
Yet, parents believe that he is unsportsmanlike in not somehow stopping his kids from scoring. It is the type of attitude that I find so bizarre among parents today. We have previously discussed how new guidelines demand that all kids get awards at award ceremonies. I have sat through such events where dozens of kids get the “best for trying award” or the equivalent to avoid any one kid or group of kids from being singled out. I am not sure how that prepares them for life. There are going to be people who are better at things than they are. Better athletes, better students, better artists. They need to learn to accept defeat as well as victory.
The kids at Western Hills were against a better team. Aledo is the top ranked team in the state for its division. I am sure they knew that. I am also sure that they could handle the defeat. It was the parents who seem incapable to maintaining perspective and want to manipulate games artificially to achieve “better results.”
I do believe that coaches should pull their top players in lopsided games and Buchanan says that is precisely what he did. However, it is not unsportsmanlike or bullying to play a game to a lopsided conclusion. It is called life. This is just one of its lessons.