Bullying has no place in sports, and society
There are few issues in our schools that get my attention more than bullying. My two children have been bullied by adults and kids alike but the toughest thing about bullying is that no one can give a definition for it. What defines bullying? In my mind, it’s someone using or threatening to physically or mentally abuse someone and doing it repeatedly to influence someone to do or not do something. Example – the classic tale of the kid threatening to beat another kid up unless they gave him/her their lunch money.
The bullying issue has popped up with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. One of the players left racist voice mail messages and texts in a way to motivate another player to be tougher (I am paraphrasing here). The messages and the harrassment have been happening for such a long time the player finally said enough and left the team. Upon hearing this, I thought about how it parlayed to youth sports…is there bullying in youth sports?
I thought back to the teams I managed and we did have situations where two teammates didn’t get along. As a board member we had situations where adults had disagreements but we identified the problem and dealt with it as best as we could. And when the problem continued we dealt with it swiftly and severely.
And therein lies the key…bullying is not a problem that will just go away on its own. With my son it was an adult and I simply confronted the adult and suggested that he talk to me about it if he didn’t like something my son did. And where I sit from the cheap seats, that’s how you stop bullying…the people who can do something about it need to get involved, adopt a zero tolerance policy and act swiftly and severly so it not only deals with the problem, but sends the message that there will be dire consequences if it continues or anything similar to it happens again. Bullying will never go away, but if we keep our eyes and ears open and deal with the problem it will certainly be lessened.
This is why it’s so hard to pick the winners of games – the week before I missed a game because I went against the Golden Rule of college sports which is if the game is close, pick the home team. So, learning from my mistake I picked the home team both times in what were expected to be close games….and both home teams promptly lose. My first winless week (sniff). This week is a big week – even though only two of the local FBS teams play one is “The Game of the Year” and the other one…well…not so much.
The “Game of the Year” pits #3 Oregon going to #5 Stanford. An Oregon win means it will be on the fast track for the national championship game, and a Stanford win means it has a very good shot at vaulting itself into the discussion for “the natty”. It’s a classic matchup….the speed and flashy Oregon attack takes on the old-school power attack of Stanford. The road team has won the last three games in this series, and I think the road team wins again. Stanford does well against Oregon, but this is the game where Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariotta shows he’s the best player in the country this year. I say Oregon wins 34-19.
So the best team in the Pac-12 will be decided in Palo Alto, arguably the Pac-12’s worst team, Colorado, is going up to Seattle to face Washington. This one shouldn’t be close, and it won’t be. My final??? Washington 51, Colorado 21
LAST WEEK: 0-2 OVERALL: 26-5