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High school football loses its virginity on Saturday (SF Chronicle)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by enigami, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. sartrean

    sartrean Member

    I didn't really read the link in the OP very carefully. I just skimmed it.

    In my neck of the woods, I've seen high school athletics, football at the forefront and baseball a close second, expand in popularity and prestige.

    Athletes in my small southern state are indeed celebrities in their small, piss-ant towns. I've covered stories of footballers and baseballers getting in trouble with the police, only to get out of it based on their athletic performance and the athletes' celebrity-quotient.

    I've seen athletes become less and less literate, or even capable of uttering a complete and coherent thought.

    The school districts in my state, for the most part, don't have a can't-pass, can't-play rule. And in the districts that do have some kind of rule, I've seen guidance counselors and coaches inflate grades for students who obviously have no idea how to read or write (one such player has been all over the news for his inability to get into college). I've seen school districts lower the academic bar so the athletically gifted can play their beloved sport.

    I've seen parents become enraged when little johnny is benched. I've seen them act entirely insane when preps writers mention that little johnny or susie struck out in the bottom of the ninth, with the tying run on third base.

    High school sports is becoming what the NCAA has long been -- a farm league for the next level.

    And before I left my last shop, I had an English teacher at a coverage area school send me an e-mail that forcefully informed me she could care less if Johnny Star Quarterback has a 4.0 or not. She just wants him to run the 40 in 4.0 flat, she said.

    Americans' obsession with athletics is getting a wee bit out of hand. But that's just my opinion.
  2. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    a) Where did THAT exchange between the teacher and yourself stem from?

    b) Did you manage to find some way to get that teacher's outlook into print?
  3. Keystone

    Keystone Member

    They've had them since the late 80s.
  4. Illinois is going to 4 for basketball? That is a big mistake. One of the reasons winning a state title in all the non-football sports in Illinois is a big deal is because there is only two divisions. That's why in the movie Hoop Dreams, it was such a big deal to make it to state -- it's quite an achievment. And then you have states with 120 schools and five divisions ...
  5. sartrean

    sartrean Member

    Oh yeah, it was sweet. Too freaking sweet.

    She called me to bitch about a column I had written on Podunk's star QB who had just eclipsed the 1,500-yard mark with three regular season games left and the playoffs on the line.

    Podunk's QB is being heavily recruited by all the big time, in-state programs, but he is thinking about Harvard or Princeton. His parents can afford it, and he wants to play football in the Ivy League.

    My column pointed out that it's rare kids with his kind of talent aspire for more than All-SEC or All-Big 12, followed by huge signing bonus to some NFL team.

    I applauded Johnny Passinghappy, and it pissed off this English teacher, who works at a nearby school. She called me and asked why academic information was in my sports section. We chatted for a few minutes and the gist of the conversation was I needed to spend my time covering more girls athletics, and how hard they work rather than hyping Podunk's star QB who has a 4.0 and is the student body president.

    Anyway, I told her that I merely wrote an opinion piece about Johnny, and anyone is allowed to disagree. I wished she'd write a letter to the editor so we could print her views.

    The same week she e-mailed her letter to the editor, the president of an in-state university snail-mailed me a hand-written letter applauding my opinion on Johnny, and how athletes like him are rare. The president of this school said Johnny was the type of people he'd like to have throwing TD passes on his campus on Saturday afternoons.

    We printed her letter ripping me to shreds next to his applauding me for pointing out problems with athletics rum amok.

    She was fucking hot the day that came out. She called me to accuse me that I had written the letter from the university president, and that it was fake. I then faxed her a copy of the hand-written letter just to make her look like a bigger idiot.
  6. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    I always knew there was a difference between being fucking hot and fuckin' hot. :D
  7. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Yeah. They call it the G-spot.
  8. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    PIAA board has voted down a recommendation to expand to eight classifications, instead urging winter sports to push back their seasons one week. Well, you cut your football playoffs one week so .500 teams don't get in (like the way it was BEFORE the playoffs were expanded), and maybe we can talk. Philly schools, quit your bitching. Playoffs already were large enough when you came in.
  9. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member


    The Southern Section has nearly 600 schools by itself. Geographically, it stretches from north of Mammoth (the little mountain town of Lee Vining) west to Paso Robles on the coast and then south to Calexico on the Arizona-California-Mexico border. This would be larger than many states -- and I'm talking about one of 10 sections.

    And a section that DOESN'T encompass many of the Los Angeles City schools, the San Diego County schools or the Central Valley (Bakersfield/Visalia/Fresno). For the better part of eight decades, this is why you haven't had a state playoff until now. Winning four playoff games in whatever division you were in -- especially in the bigger divisions -- was enough to prove you were the swinging Richard in your class.

    Is it a perfect selection system? Not really. But it's a start.
  10. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    if it's a non-perfect start, what's the perfect ending ... a state championship?
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