What's your definition of bullying? The reason I ask has much to do with the topic of discussion that was brought during an sports talk show that aired yesterday on www.thisissportszone.com that I happened to take part in. The guys were talking about a high school football game in Texas, that ended with a lopsided score of 91-0, and the aftermath which involved a parent from the losing team, filing a 'bullying grievance' that by law, had to be investigated.
Apparently it was a father on the Western Hills High School football team who claimed that the Aledo High School football coach Tim Buchanan encouraged his players to bully their opponents by running up the score. So let's see how long it takes for this to go viral, and the father of the losing team appears on Oprah, all for what? For being a sore loser?
What purpose did this serve? It may interest one to know that Coach Buchanan pulled his starters, and used second and third string players. Should a second or third string player not have the right to play his heart out when he's in high school. If so, what message does that send? Where does the parent of the Aledo High School go to file the complaint that his or her child was instructed to take a fall, just so that the losing opponent could ... well, what not lose?
To quote the words of Mr. Ritchie, "Somebody's gotta win, and somebody's gotta lose." and the day we forget that, is the day we should give up playing the game.
What people are losing sight of, when it comes to the 'bullying legislation' is that somebody's got to pay for the mandatory investigations, and that just because somebody is unhappy with losing a game, does not warrant a full blown investigation, or does it? Sometimes making something a law, ends up being very expensive. I'm not advocating 'bullying' but I think that when a parent is upset that their child loses a football game, and files a complaint such as this, that parent should be held somewhat accountable for the expense involved with the investigation. Think about it. If every complaint must be investigated, then just anyone can file a complaint? Where does it stop?
So now the kids from Aledo High School are being bombarded by the media, and is that fair? If they lose this weekend, who should they run to, to file the complaint against? Can they sue the parent of the Western Hills High School football player for bullying? Sometimes, it just seems that we've gone a bit too far. Making something law, is a bit more complicated than people realize, and it's going to be interesting how we continue to track issues like these.
My opinion, if you want to know, is that labeling something as 'bullying' doesn't make it so. I think that people often push laws into laws because it's a 'feel good' thing to do, and people want to do something to make people 'feel good' and with all the school shootings, it makes sense to want to combat bullying. Yet, we need to be careful that we don't take away normal everyday growing up, and that we don't completely emasculate ourselves in the process of wanting to right a wrong.