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The Game With No winner

Posted on January 02, 2015 by Sarah Stevens | 0 Comments

I rarely use this blog as a soapbox to stand upon.  But today, I am.  

Something is very, very wrong today with what we, as a society and culture, are teaching our youth about how to handle themselves in life's events...good or bad.  Last night's NCAA football playoff game between Oregon and Florida State was the best proof of this.

These are 18-22 year old young men who have worked very hard.  They leave their families early in the summer to head to their respective universities and train, workout, eat the meal plans, learn plays, watch film, and practice, practice, practice.  They have a slew of coaches, managers and trainers working just as hard to help them be the best team they can.  They have a huge nation of diehard fans who love their team and want to see them win.  All this effort, work, passion and perseverance came to a tipping point at one game... last night.  Win, they go on to the new college football championship game.... or lose and they go home.

This is one of those times where you get to make a statement about who you are.
One that is representative of the hard work you have put in.
One that would make your families that supported you for years would have you make.
One that the fans can be beam with pride because of.  
Win...or lose.

Last night was Oregon and FSU's chance to make that statement.
What kind of men would they be.
One team would win and one would lose.
Both disappointed me deeply.

Oregon won the game...handily.  Sure, it was probably a very tough pill to swallow for the FSU students and they were absolutely, understandably heartbroken.  But 3/4 of their players left the field without shaking hands with Oregon's team.  They walked off.  They ran away.  They pouted.  They were not men.  They were boys.  Seriously disappointing.

But that isn't the end of it.  You would think that the winners of the game would be able to ride in and save the sportsmanship day.  BUT NO!  Some of their players chose to mock the FSU quarterback and chant "No means no!" to the tune of FSU's war chant.  Really?  

{Side bar: most of you don't know this but I feel pretty strongly about rape.  I volunteered for over a year at a rape crisis center in Pensacola, FL in my early 20s.  I spent many hours in the middle of the night talking to women who were still dealing with the emotional trauma of past rapes or abuse.  Hours.  I am passionate about this subject. You can't even imagine how passionate.             Can. NOT. Even.}

I understand that Jameis Winston was accused of rape 2 years ago.  I understand that many feel like he got away with something.  Does the idea of a young college student raping a young woman make me angry? YES!  Firing angry. But...I also know that he was not convicted.  AND... more importantly... the chanting of "no means no" with $&*%-eating grins does NOTHING to help or stand up for victims of rape.  It does nothing to seek justice for women (or men) who have been forced to do anything when they say no.  It does nothing to lift up and support those who have been harmed.  

It does nothing but MOCK rape, TRIVIALIZE victims and make a JOKE of something very serious.

Sad.  Very sad.

This is not how men, who have been given great opportunities, should behave.  This is not what the actions of student athletes who have worked so very diligently should look like.  

So what are we to do?  I know what I am doing.  I am talking to the 2 children still living 12 months out of the year in this house.  I will share with them the sad truth of last night.

BOTH teams lost.     


May you work so very hard for things in life.
May you carry yourself with dignity in both winning and losing situations.
May you retain the respect of others... but more importantly yourself.



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