“Volatile emotions in a chaotic season…”

16 10 2006

…lead to mayhem?

I grew up in Gainesville FL and bleed orange and blue. Florida Gators, baby. Saturday night was a bummer, being ranked #2 and losing a tough one to Auburn. But college football is my weekend TV indulgence, a diversion on autumn Saturdays. I don’t even go to the games anymore. So my frustrations didn’t make me want to stomp someone’s face in, or break his kneecap.

Can’t say the same for everyone in my fair state this week:

“Let’s not get caught up in blame-laying, though. Let’s agree any player in either uniform who kicked or punched is at fault, and not extend the blame to either school.”

This blanket editorial “official excuse note” does lay plenty of glib blame on individual human and social-demographic factors, including growing up in the same neighborhoods, jealousy, disappointment, the inclination to do a bit of preening, tweaking downtrodden little brothers, lame-duck coaches fighting to save their own hides
— “an intersection of volatile emotions in a chaotic season.”

I saw the writer say the same thing on cable news this morning, using the same phrasing.

Don’t give up on the future of a UM-FIU football series just because a bunch of players happened to go ballistic on one weird October night in 2006.

The hopeful promise of a good, long, natural rivalry should set the policy on that, not the actions of a few who chose the first meeting as their stage to play buffoons.

You’ve got to be believe Saturday night was an aberration.

That, or be very depressed.

Isn’t this backward? Shouldn’t we blame the *institution* and demand that whatever must be done SHALL be done, as the Foley scandal reaction blames the grownups, not the kids. It is institutional misuse of power, of money, of position and fame, to exploit and mislead excitable young students in their formal trust, the brash man-boys sent for professional coaches to teach and mentor and develop. They hand-pick these kids as most likely to succeed — if these were the best available, then MAKE IT WORK!

UM is both public and private in funding and administration, but this brawl couldn’t have been more painfully public. it’s shocking stuff to see these school-uniformed young men stomping on each other’s knees and ankles, swinging their helmets like clubs at each other’s heads, on television replays with your own kids watching next to you.

Institutional education has been a volatile intersection of chaotic emotion for my whole lifetime. Probably longer. That’s more of an indictment than an excuse, if you ask me.
When I wish that public school were more like universities, this is NOT what I mean! Education is not about closing ranks to protect programs and institutions against the individual needs of the students they exist to serve.

UPDATE: about bleeding orange and blue in a streetfight.



4 responses

17 10 2006

At least there should have been several choruses of “UNACCEPTABLE!”

25 10 2006
Fumbled.Org » Georgia to Drown Gators?

[…] The Florida Gators have not played since the ambush by Auburn on October 14th. Recent commentors agree that Florida will bounce back like a rock; and will fall off the charts by losing to Georgia this weekend. And ahh..let’s not blame the officials this time. […]

25 10 2006

“Who” makes up an education institution?
Only the grown-ups, only the kids?
Do their families count too? How about former staff, former students, volunteers, local folks who live near campus and are affected in their daily lives by the institution?
Those who pay the bills? (Do taxes and tuition count or just big donors?)
Those who do the work (does learning count or just teaching? Cleaning and counting, sports coaching?)
Those who wear the colors?
Anyone who claims citizenship?
Anyone who claims they can run it better than the ones running it now?
Those who are pure enough, no hybrids or minority freaks allowed?

I ask today because of Gallaudet but the same question matters to every school and to homeschooling too. “Who” are we as the total institution — and whoever it is, why do some feel part of it to take shots but not when good stuff happens

7 10 2007
Looks Like Gators Are Gone Gone Gone, Too « Cocking A Snook!

[…] — not unless we let school rules and rivalries define us as mere players of Their Game: Institutional education has been a volatile intersection of chaotic emotion for my whole lifetime. . . Education is not about closing ranks to protect […]

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