Well, the first week of college football is in the books and it looks like if you are planning to win a national championship this year the road still goes through Alabama.
College football fans who are not Tide supporters get tired of the same old story every year. The reality is that they recruit the best kids out of high school year in and year out and teach them on how to play the game. Their key emphasis on detail in every phase of football is why they are so hard to beat. Like them or not you have to respect how they approach every game as their only importance.
The start of the NFL season is what football fans wait for as the last second ticks off the clock of the previous year’s Super Bowl. Sadly, at the beginning of every year the NFL must deal with some negative situation usually caused off the field. Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, with a six-game suspension, is providing that drama this year. It has become a part of the daily sporting news. This topic will be front and center on every sports newscast for the entire first half of the NFL season.
This is a bad example for young athletes. High school coaches and administrators all over America worry about the conduct of participating athletes. Physical hazing and cyberbullying are major areas of concern. It is not new to sports. In the past, many viewed the participation in so-called traditional activities as a rite of passage into a team’s tradition.
Those folks need to open their eyes to reality. There is absolutely no place in high school athletic programs (or any other program or organization) for physical hazing. Hazing does not make you a part of anything.
I grew up with some traditions of the past that were considered acceptable. They were not, but my generation will say, “So, big deal.” That does not make it right today. Most of my buddies will agree however that we would not want our children and grandchildren to be subject to some of that hazing we did during college.
The same is true for high school athletics – just because players did something 5, 10 or 20 years ago does not mean it should be carried forward into this generation. Social media has made it easier to do bad things. Role models like Ezekiel Elliott, who make mistakes, are plastered all over the media for weeks. It is not good for young athletes who look up to their sports heroes.
If hazing and bullying take place in any high school athletic program it is the responsibility of everyone, not just the coach, to correct the situation. Coaches are the people who run their program, but they need communication from school administrators, parents and players that a problem exists in order to be able to rid the team of the problem.
It should be made clear at the beginning of every season that physical or mental hazing of any type will NOT be tolerated. You become a team member by working together on and off the field toward accomplishing a group goal. They learn how to self-sacrifice for the team to reach those goals. The one main purpose of high school athletics is to teach participants life lessons and to be bullied or physically/mentally hazed should not be an experience connected to any high school activity. Players, parents, coaches and school administrators need to work together to prevent any of these negative activities from occurring.
• It is hard to watch the Royals finish out the season is such a non-competitive situation. The core players for the past six years have provided the city with so many positive moments. Everyone that was a Royal fan will always remember the great runs of 2014 and 2015. Those players were all about the team pulling the same direction on the same rope. It is time to move on. The rebuilding process can be painful but hopefully the Royals will soon give us another great summer to remember. That is what makes baseball fans.
• Patrick Mahomes is the real deal but the media and fans need to slow their roll. Alex Smith does give the team the best shot to be a playoff team this year. Mahomes reminds people of John Elway with his arm strength and scramble ability. Andy Reid is very good at developing a pro quarterback – he doesn’t need the media or fans to help with that development.
• My quote of the week comes from former NBA player Calvin Murphy: “I judge a person’s worth by the kind of person he is in life – by the way he treats his fellow man, by the way he wants to be treated, and by the way he respects people around him.”
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.