Sports and Ethics

I am sure this subject has been written about a million times and will continue to be written about as long as sports are being played.  Well today is my day to throw in my 2 cents.  A dear friend of mine’s son was playing as a high school senior last night in the Armstrong Arrows hockey game. It was their playoff game that if they won they will continue on to play a semi final game in the Mellon arean in Pittsburgh.  Nice way for a high school senior who has played hockey his entire life end this portionof their career. Oh did I mention he is a captain of the team? So it was with great pride that my friend Brenda emailed several of her close friends to invite us to join her and her family in the stands for the big game.

Like any major sporting event large or small one starts of with the party in the parking lot.  AND like any major sporting event large or small there were 5 local policeman all standing together in a clump bullshitting and not doing their job of splitting up and walking around to do what they are paid to do and that is making the world a safer place.  Being that the play off game was on St. Patty’s day and Brenda is definitely a class clown hockey mom she started early being in the spirit of the day.

Brenda - pre game on St. Patty's Day

Brenda and her sister Beth Ann

Brenda and Rusty

This high school team has a tradition that on the last game of the year players bleach their hair blonde and everyone is to wear white. They call this evening  The Big White Out.  

Bleached Blonde Hockey Team - Almost

After the prerecorded National Anthem the buzzard was sound and the game began.  Since hockey tends to be fast it is always fun to watch. The Arrows ended taking the lead early in the game and by the end of the first period it was obvious that for tonight, the night that counted, that they were by far the better team.  By the end of the second period The Arrows were leading by 5 points.  It was  the 3rd period that things started heading even further south for the other team Knoch.  Not only was the quality of their playing going into the dumpster by more importantly their intergrity, their pride, their capability to function as the team and most important their ability to function as they young adults that they are.  How did I and the rest of the Kittanning side know this?  When it became obvious that this team wasn’t capable of winning this game they decided to fight with they fists instead of  the rules of the game. No, I get this is hockey and fighting is one of the “fun” parts of the game. The fighting  is an “add to” not a replacement of playing the game. What was sad was when they were loosing so badly these kids were not guided by their coaches to continue to fight harder via hockey to get through the game.  They immediately digressed into let’s just hit, punch and elbow our way through the rest of the game and see if we can hurt someone. 

Here is the reality of last night. Both teams skated onto the ice that night knowing there was going to be 1 winner and 1 looser. The loosing team regardless of who it was should have been “adult” enough at this stage of their growth to be happy to have the best team possible going to Mellon arena to represent their district.  They should have been “adult” enough to play the best hockey they knew how regardless of the circumstances. They should have been “adult” enough to not resort to the level of cheating and violence that they did to get through a situation that wasn’t playing out in their favor.  So as anyone reads this wonders where was the coach?  I was wondering that myself…it was obvious to everyone that Knoch’s coaching staff was mentally absent to allow their charges play in such an immature manner. It also makes me question the coaches level of their maturity and their ability to act as leaders that this behavior is acceptable and even encouraged. What I learned is the word coach is used too freely in today’s society and that these coaches didn’t have a respect for what that word means and the responsiblities that come along with this title.

I realized what matters at the end of the day is their was a clear cut winner with a score of 9 – 3 and the best team possible for the job at this point in time will be going to Pittsburgh to represent our area.

As I round out this blog it is  with a sincere heart that I would like to wish the Armstong Arrows good luck as they as a team continue on.  But more important play your play – off game on Monday night with your best effort possible, with pride and integrity for the game as a team – not your individual agendas. Andrew if you as a team captain can assist with making that happen then win or loose you can walk away doing the job you were chosen to do – one of leadership and representation- not a group of individual on separate agendas.

The Winning Team

Good luck my dear friend.

This is my story for now and I am sticking to it.

Claire

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