Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good old fashioned school rivalry.

Remember the days of burning eagles? Or maybe the posters that slandered the Sanpete Hawks? Fighting over which blue was the true blue? (Aggies win, we had it first). Or being brave enough to wear red on a BYU v UofU game day? It all seems so harmless and fun. Well, in the hood . . . not so much. I seriously thought my sweet little innocent, straight "A" students were going to start throwing punches and our chances of winning at the tournament would be shattered.

After our first win, many weeks ago. I thought my girls may have been a little over zealous. So I casually told them they needed to work on having good sportsmanship when we win as well as when we loose. But I didn't make a big deal out of it. If you don't know already, the first half of our season was a little rough. We only won 1 of 5 games. But this second half has been much better. So far we are 3 for 3. So after today's win we gathered as a team for our victory chant. It's just this silly little chant we started doing at every game. The girls love it. Each team at our school has their own "signature" cheer. And so I let them have theirs (it's from Love and Basketball). Well the other team didn't really like our victory cheer. So afterwords one of their teammates who is friends with my girls came over to talk some friendly smack. But her teammates weren't so friendly. One of them said something to the effect of "You b!@%*es are all excited about one stupid win." And my girls were utterly offended. Next thing you know, hands are flying through the air. Shouting is at top level. My straight "A" students are jumping up and down with excitement and a little bit of threat.

So I stood between the two groups and started telling my girls "You don't want to throw away your win over this." And with the help of a couple of my cool headed students I got my team calmed down. The thing that really erked me about all this was that their assistant Coach didn't try to calm her own team down, instead she started yelling at me about mine. Meanwhile the head Coach goes over to the ref and demands he do something to punish us. Even though their girls are the ones who started it. But I was like so whateve. :) I took my red card with pride, sat my girls down, and told them that, that kind of behavior was unexceptable. I thought the message got through. And we went outside to load onto our bus.

But then I started thinking. Last year during Basketball season an actual fist throwing fight broke out during the Coolidge v Dunbar girls game. And it was the same kind of thing. Coolidge girls getting our girls all rilled up until someone does something about it. Getting us in trouble, even though they provoked the whole thing. And so I thouht to myself, this is all just silly high school rivalry. It will pass. Right?

Wrong. As we were outside waiting for our bus one of the Coolidge girls comes to the door and starts throwing down insults. Apparently to me. Shouting "What the F*&^ kind of coach are you?" I didn't even notice she was yelling at me. I was more concerned about making sure my girls didn't deliver any insults or threats in return. Well, a security guard removed their player from the doorway. And I removed my team from the high school entryway. We walked ourselves over to the middle school side of the building and continued to wait for our bus.

But it's still not over. The two teams started loading their buses at the same time. And so the shouting began yet again. By this time, Sharnita, Lawrence, some other boy, and I were getting really good at controlling our "gangster" teammates. And we got most of them on the bus. Except the two who didn't come on the bus. They insisted they walk to their car, walking through the Coolidge team. Which Coolidge did not like. I serisouly am shocked their wasn't a huge brawl by the end of all this.

Meanwhile I call the athletic director at my school and report the incident. I also confront the security guard and get some reassurance that the Coolidge girls were provoking the whole thing. I wasn't about to let us get all the blame again. So now I have to look over my report and type the whole incident up. I'll be sure to include the parts that mention my girls were taunting back. I'll try to be as bipartisan as I can. Afterall, it's not politics. In which case I am always liberal.

So there you have it. High school rivalry exists in the city too. Only here it's something people might actually get shot at for. I would have never imagined these girls had that kind of fight in them. They really are the nicest girls at school. But when they feel threatened they are ME-EAN. I would not want to cross them. I think that just comes from being raised as a minority on the bottom end of the socioeconomic poll. They have this inate desire to protect themselves and their "family" from anything that threatens them. I don't know if it's bred from fear or pride. But it's real. And I saw it first hand today from some girls I never thought had it in them. The hood takes it's toll on everyone.

3 comments:

Mom and Dad Bassett said...

You talk of minority! I fear you are the minority sister! I can just imagine the entire episode with one white coach amid a sea of black! I'm proud of you girl.
Keep teaching your girls to act and not react -- to turn the other cheek. Remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr. promoted a peaceful revolution.
I do so hope fifty years later, America will reward that teaching by voting for its first black president -- by far the better candidate in the running.
Go Betty, Go Obama!
Love, Pa

Ben said...

That was an epic post

Carroll's said...

Wow Liz! Your too little to be in charge of a bunch of girls ready to fight! Way to go!

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