Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sleeping With Your Opponent

There are worse things than sleeping with your opponent; sometimes it helps in your growth as a person, regardless of your age. Let me explain.

One of the regulars on my radio program told me about a high school football game held around here a while back. The visiting team was booed badly on the field and, when it was over, the home team formed two lines and as the visitors left, they had to run this gauntlet of razzing, abusing players. The visiting team, on their part, mooned everyone from the bus as it pulled out.

A distinctive lack of class on everyone’s part: teams and fans alike.

I was watching a tv show about girls’ high school basketball in Alaska. The trip from Juneau to Sitka takes 18 hours on the Alaskan ferry and, once there, you stay at the other team members’ homes. Yeah; you live with your opponents for the two or three days you are there. As one girl put it, “you learn to leave your grudges at the foul line.” What happens on the court stays on the court and your friendship at home (theirs, perhaps yours) is a separate entity.

Having been to Alaska a bunch of times, I’ve read a lot about it and how its people get along with each other (for better or worse). Their student teams seem to have a far different attitude towards sports than we do here in the Lower 48. Let’s call it a healthy attitude, one where winning is important, but friendship more so.


Anonymous ruthc said...

18 hours from Juneau to Sitka? That seems a very long time for that amount of distance.
That's not a typo?

October 25, 2007 7:46 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

The ferry makes lots of stops and I don't think it goes all that fast or all that direct.

October 25, 2007 10:17 PM  

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