No single high school basketball game this season has received as much nationwide publicity as the 100-0 victory by The Covenant School, a private Christian school, over Dallas Academy.
The Texas high school girls basketball game also caught the attention of my agent I.M. Slick, who thinks the coach of the winning team is getting a bad rap.
Joe: Please tell me that I misunderstood your telephone message. Did I hear you say you want me to defend the actions of coach Micah Grimes for its 100-point shutout win over Dallas Academy?
Slick: Yup. All of the politically correct crowd is criticizing a coach and school for bad sportsmanship, running up the score and so on, but the silent majority appreciates a coach that has his or her team playing hard, playing well and striving to excel.
Joe: Perhaps, although it?s one thing to play hard and well, and it?s another thing to know when to back off a little.
Slick: I disagree. You don?t call off the dogs until the final horn sounds.
Joe: So, it isn?t the least bit embarrassing to run up the score against a team with eight girls on its varsity team and about 20 girls in its high school that is winless over the last four seasons? Plus, Dallas Academy specializes in teaching students struggling with ?learning differences,? such as short attention spans or dyslexia.
Slick: Well, I guess it may be more than a little embarrassing for the Dallas Academy team for being shut out, but it shouldn?t be to The Covenant School.
Joe: I agree with you that The Covenant School players shouldn?t be embarrassed, because the coach is ultimately responsible for putting his players in that position.?
Slick: There you go again, feeling sorry for the Dallas Academy team.
Joe: And I take it that you think The Covenant School bowed to political pressure by firing its unapologetic coach?
Slick: Absolutely. Why should the coach have to apologize for anything? Grimes got the axe for disagreeing with a statement on the school?s Web site that said, ?It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christlike and honorable approach to competition.?
Personally, I like how the coach responded, in part, ?We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on any opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity.
Joe: If that?s the case, I?d hate to see what happened if he really ran up the score.
Slick: What?s the object of the game?
Joe: To win.
Slick: That means scoring more points than your opponent, which is exactly what The Covenant School did.
Joe: Yes, but when the score is already 59-0 at halftime, what’s the point in running a full-court press and shooting 3-point shots in the second half?
Slick: It?s the responsibility of each team to perform to the best of its ability. It?s not the fault of The Covenant School when an opponent can?t pass, dribble or shoot very well. The other team needs to get better.
Joe: Does the word sportsmanship mean anything to you?
Slick: Sure. When all else fails and you can?t win, be a good sport in defeat.
Joe: Can we agree that high school is a place to learn and grow, and not be humiliated?
Slick: Alright. The coach is partly to blame. He should never have called off the dogs. He should have tried to score 120 points. What?s the difference if you win 100-0 or 120-0? By dropping the press, the coach showed that he felt sorry for the other team.
Joe: You?re incorrigible aren?t you?
Slick: I don?t know what that means, but I?ll take it as a compliment.