Sunday, November 4, 2012

Love my small town, hate the attitudes.

This past weekend, my little city of Harlingen, TX held the annual football game called The Bird Bowl.
It's called such because both the high schools have birds as mascots.  Harlingen High School (HHS) is represented by a Cardinal, and Harlingen South High School (HSH) is represented by a Hawk. You get the point.

The game is the annual rivalry between both schools. This year marks the 20th annual game. For the hardcore football fans, it's the highlight of the year.   For me, it means less waiting at restaurants and short lines at Target...cause most people are at the stadium.

A photo I took last year on behalf of my own photography business when asked to photograph one night. I give myself permission to use my own photo here :)
This is the 2011 HHS football team before the game began.

I went to Harlingen High as was a proud member of the Cardinal Band. I marched, I jazzed, I was a trombonist. (picture!) So I know a little about school pride when I hear good things happening for the band.  For instance, both the marching bands from the high schools this year advanced to State!  So my pride is swollen right now! 

Anyway, this morning I ran into an article in the paper talking about the sportsmanship (or lack thereof) displayed at the game on Friday by both the HHS and HSH sides of the field. Take a look before you read on here.
Basically, fans were booing the football players, the cheerleaders, the drill teams, and the bands for no particular reason, other than they belonged to the rival team.

I have been the a couple football games since my graduation in 2004, and I have witness the rash and almost violent tempers some of these fans can get into.  But for it to be so bad, an article had to be written and published to chide them on behavior is just downright shameful

I know, I know.  This is Texas. Texas loves football and can it get pretty rowdy, but shaming the rival teams - especially when they still represent the same city you are part of - is just wrong.

Most of the people in the stands have never set foot on a football field before. Nothing wrong with that, but most are simply spectators that take their loyalty too far.  It's one thing to "boo" at an adult referee for making a call you may disagree on, but to boo students - children, even - who are no more than 14-18 years old because you're a dumbass is idiotic! 

Those kids, regardless of the organization they represent, worked hard to entertain you.  They practiced their drills, they practiced their cheers, and dances, and music...and for what? So the city they are growing up in and are expected to respect can disrespect them back by not giving them a chance to shine or to make mistakes?  So they can feel like dirt because they messed up once?  So they can feel like their organization doesn't matter as much as the football players?

Some of these football players are told that this field, this moment, this night is what life is about by their hardcore football parents.  When they mess up, or are made to feel like they mess up, a little part of them is broken. I know guys like this.  Guys that can get past those Friday nights because they were never told life would go on.  They were told that THIS (football) is what mattered.

When a stadium full of people is too busy booing away the rival team, it doesn't show compassion or sportsmanship.  It shows what a mess the fans are for putting so much energy in what should be considered just a game.  It's just a game. Life goes on. There will be more games, and Bird Bowl will happen again next year.  Move on.

At the end of the article I linked up there, it says that the players shook hands and embraced after the game in a display of true sportsmanship.  The players on that field displayed better manners and personality than those on the stands.

I think what upsets me more is that the fans also booed the cheerleaders, drill team members, and the bands.  They are supporting acts during football games and are there to motivate the fans...and instead, they got shut down.

I'm glad to know, however, that both sides of the field congratulated and cheered when it was announced that the bands were advancing to State this week.  GO BAND!

I can say for the first time in a long time that I am ashamed of the city I live in for not supporting the schools and the students out on that field as whole, but for picking sides and doing it in the most awful way.

1 comment:

  1. Texas definitely loves football hehe. I guess that's something I can't quite get into but it is cool when everyone has a hobby/interest and can rally together behind their favorite local team.


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