Respect: It’s paramount in sports and our lives
For our society, Ed Orgeron feels football is important. Dabo Swinney expressed a similar sentiment.
Coach O did so in the presence of Vice President Mike Pence, a Republican, and Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat.
Fans of the New Orleans Saints and LSU, among others, are highly concerned about whether they will be able to attend games of the teams they support adamantly, rabidly and passionately.
Is that a surprise for coaches of teams with the aggression and intimidation of a Tiger as their mascot? The pair of outstanding head coaches of teams are respected coaches and men and are entitled to their opinions. So are we.
Football is important to build character, fellowship, unselfishness, teamwork, discipline and bonding together for a common goal, rather than individual accomplishment.
Football provides structure. For some, it provides an opportunity to enhance their status toward a career in the game as players, coaches or even front office employees of professional, college or prep entities.
At every level, football also provides the lion’s share, perhaps I should say tiger’s, for athletic revenue for a calendar school year. Other sports, both men’s and women’s entities, benefit greatly from and can largely function from the monies produced by football.
That is true of the high school and college levels.
On the professional level, it is a different story, of course, but no less important.
Football provides the obvious with much desired, now much coveted entertainment as a temporary respite from the difficulties of daily life.
Football provides jobs for not only the players, coaches and employees of the New Orleans Saints and other teams but it provides jobs for stadium workers, along with additional pay for security and police to support families.
Football provides business for restaurants, not only those close to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome but to those all over the metro area for patrons leaving the game. Parking lot operators benefit greatly from the enterprise as well.
On Monday, LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine caused an uproar, a diatribe of passionate response with his words spoken to the Louisiana House Education Committee.
Almost immediately, coaches, administrators and parents lamented the lack of any mention of a “Phase four” in any previous memorandums or correspondences penned and submitted by the LHSAA.
Clearly, the inference, the reference was to being in Phase three and meeting all of the guidelines associated with it, graduating, if you will allow that school terminology, to the next level to permit tackle football in its fullness to take place safely and legally.
In Phase three, football players can return to practice, but cannot do contact drills or hold scrimmages.
Of course, the LHSAA would most certainly love to see athletics take place, regardless of when that is, when it is safe to do so.
The appearance by Bonine came after State Senator Cleo Fields raised the ire of a vast majority of the state populace by injecting himself into the playing field arena, calling for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to cancel all Fall sports.
Not only did that not sit well with the masses, but the masses got their desired response when BESE responded by stating it does not have the authority to call off sports for public schools. Of course, it has no jurisdiction over private schools.
The decision regarding fall sports is solely up to local school leaders and the LHSAA, which will clearly follow guidelines established by Governor Edwards, along with recommendations on the federal level from the White House, the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While the World Health Organization is not applicable, it is not ignored in the grand scheme. The same is true of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association (LHSCA).
You got all of that?
Are you as immersed in the alphabet soup as I am?
That includes the LHSAA, BESE, CDC WHO, NFHS and LHSCA. I somehow feel somewhere in time, back in my youth, in reflecting on this, injecting myself into the past and present while hoping for a future in athletics. “Now I know my ABC’s. Next time won’t you sing with me!”
When we do sing, let’s hope it is to the tune of the alma mater, fight song, or “When The Saints Go Marching In,” or “The Saints Are Coming,” sometime soon.
The feeling all along from my perspective is that fall sports will be played, at some point. Perhaps that won’t be on time. Perhaps that won’t be in the fall, at all, but there is the hope and likelihood that we will play ball. To not do so would cast a further pall upon an already depressed society.
On the high school level, the psyche of young people is important, if not critical. Being able to return to school, gather with friends, participate in sports with teammates is universally wanted by all of those young people.
Of course, what they want and what is possible are two conflicting objects.
Regardless of how important or trivial you feel football or athletics are, safety is important to provide assurance to all involved in the process of work, school or any extra curricular activity.
The sanctity of life is precious. We all want to preserve our lives to the maximum ability, capability, longevity.
Being irresponsible in doing so by recklessly allowing full free form guitar occurrences in every day life, including athletics, to take place is not the answer. To ignore this would be, in the title of a board game I used to partake in and enjoy, a trivial pursuit of poor decision making.
Therein lies the rub and it stings, burning like the analgesic balm applied in massive quantities by athletes. It irritates the skin. It irritates our persons. Then again, we are all quite irritated at this point, this year. We need to cool down. Where can I purchase that product?
Given the various opinions and outlooks regarding how to deal with the current pandemic in all facets of society, it is easy to be ambivalent. Lord knows there are two sides to every story, though some, if not many, refuse to accept this basic, common sense concept these days.
Some have chosen to politicize the decisions of allowing sports to resume.
Of course, we have already seen the ugliness of partisan politics in society, as a whole, in our country, surrounding all issues.
Take the politics out of athletic decisions.
To play or not to play, that is the question. Where is William Shakespeare when you need him?
For now, we await decisions from the authors of our lawful society, in our parishes, in our state, in our country.
For those choosing to politicize the issue of playing sports soon, here’s hoping that those of that ilk are, if you’ll pardon the pun of the lack of fun we find ourselves deeply ensnared in presently, unmasked.
I find it amazing, amusing, alarming, even abysmal that people are judging other people because they either feel there should be athletics, including football, or there should not be athletics, including football, in 2020.
Let me apologize.
Crescent City Sports Enterprises is a reputable organization. I am truly sorry for using the vulgarity that is 2020.
It can only get better, right? Let us truly hope so.
Can we all just take a chill pill to avoid the sour dill taste of the concept of kill?
We all want to live and we all want sports to live, for our children, our children’s children, our brothers, our sisters and for those we simply support.
Can we all just respect, rather than object to each other and neglect to try to understand all viewpoints? Can we collect as much evidence and data possible to affect our opinions and decisions as we object to whatever differences we have? Can we just reject hatred, hostility and prejudice?
Then, we can sort out our respective views on what is important in our respective lives. Of course, we have to respect each other, in the process or there will be no progress.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…