Cheerleading is stupid. That’s not to say we don’t like cheerleaders - big fans of ‘em, obviously - but the idea that leading cheers for sports is somehow worthy of sporthood itself is patently ludicrous. Pro cheerleaders get it - they’re there to look purty and smile and show up to PR events. College cheerleaders get it less so, but most of the one’s we’ve known never took themselves too seriously.
(High school cheerleading should not end like this.)
Then there’s high school cheerleading, a wholly different category. Despite what its fans would have you believe, it is not a sport…and hell, it’s more ‘Melrose Place’ than extracurricular activity anyway, with all the sex, drugs, and violence. On top of that, a new report says that it is also an incredibly dangerous activity for girls, with a high risk for “catastrophic injury.”And yet, it’s more popular than ever. What gives?
Despite dabbling in several different sporting endeavors during my high school days, the only time I came close to anything resembling a record book was in 1996, when I - intentionally, thankyouverymuch - achieved the lowest average score of any high school bowler, boy or girl, in the entire Northern Illinois Conference (this is not helping the public image of bloggers, is it?). It was a landmark achievement that required record levels of stick-to-it-iveness, marijuana, and apathy, and I thought it was the pinnacle of high school athletic achievement.
(Win. Rinse. Repeat.)
Amazingly, however, my record for high school athletic prowess has been shattered by a whippersnapper from Texas named Bonnie Richardson (a name that just screams “high school girl”, am I right). Bonnie young Bonnie managed to win the Texas girls’ state team track title the other day for the second straight year. That’s right - team title. By herself. Perhaps weed and apathy weren’t the magic weapons for athletic immortality I thought they were.
Alright, it’s finally gotten to the point where nobody can ever post anything on Facebook ever again because it’s going to come back to haunt you in some way. Although, it shouldn’t be that difficult for teenagers to figure out that they probably shouldn’t be posting pictures of themselves playing beer pong at a party.
There weren’t any stripper poles at this party, nor any attempted murder/suicide drama in the aftermath (yet), but a bunch of kids in Connecticut — including a number of high school athletes — were suspended for drinking at a party at the house of the captain of their girls’ basketball team. Said girl was among the athletes who were then kicked off their teams. Her parents, who were home and apparently approved of what was going on, are charged with knowingly providing alcohol to minors at their house — and one of them is an elementary school teacher (so, probably soon to be unemployed as well).
Well, this is a new way to get fired. Unsatisfied with just doing his job at Seymour (Conn.) High School, swim team coach Kevin Quill tried to fire up his team by dappling in the motivational screen printing business. His subject? A member of his own team who had quit after not being named captain.
(Another of Quill’s motivational techniques: Throwing shoes at slow swimmers.)
Hence shirts emblazoned with “The Mascot is a quitter,” a message that sounds fairly benign until you realize that the player in question was actually named Mascot. Even more ridiculously, Quill tried to defend the action, saying that the shirts were, “not poking fun at the student (Mascot), but instead were poking fun at the situation.” How exactly a shirt that is only clever in how it uses the word mascot as a double-entendre is poking fun at the situation, we have no idea. What situation? The fact that the kid’s name was Mascot? That’s a situation?
Just when you thought parents attacking refs and overeager high school fans went out with Blind Melon in the late 90s, along comes a new spate of stunning assaults — on both decency, intelligence and actual human beings — that throws that all back into question.
The headliner of the group is clearly a referee attack by a fan in Indiana. It’s pretty standard fare for the mildly psychotic overeager fan demographic — fan gets pissed at calls, fan can’t vent any more, fan charges at referee — except for one crucial detail: The referee is also a police officer. Yet this incident is only slightly better than the other stunner, a fight between high school scorekeepers, caught on camera (video after the jump).
Make no mistake, this is no fourth-inning rain out. In fact, in the annals of suspended sporting events, this has to be one of the oddest. On Thursday night, a Michigan high school basketball game was suspended when a brawl broke out in a hallway outside the Godwin Heights gymnasium with just 9.9 seconds left in the game, in which Godwin Heights led Lee, 61-58. After police fired pepper spray at an assailant, the resulting gaseous fumes forced fans out of the gym and cause the postponement of the game’s conclusion.
(Michigan high school basketball: Now with pepper spray!)
But if you thought that was strange, the motivation behind the brawl is even odder: The man who was attacked rubbed the assailant, Anthony Turley, the wrong way with a simple, positive comment. That’s right, a hallway brawl, school-filling pepper spray incident and suspension of a tense high school game was caused by a compliment.
Every team has a bad day or two over the course of a season. After all, Daniel Powter is still getting plenty of royalties from musical montages on ESPN, so even big name programs have their share of struggles. Most even find themselves blown out at least once, when matching up with a team that just has more talent. Well, Boulder (Colo.) Justice High School’s girls’ basketball team took that altruism to a new extreme in a loss to Greeley’s Frontier Academy, falling 94-1 on Tuesday night.
(There was an awful lot of this Tuesday night in Colorado.)
Yes, you read that right: 94-1. Justice High scored a single point, on a free throw in the third quarter. They trailed 48-0 at halftime.
“I’ve had 100 points scored on me before, and I think it’s important to respect the game and to respect your opponent,” Frontier Academy coach Nathan Buxman said. “We show the most respect for our opponents by continuing to play hard.”
Respect is one thing, but 94-1? That seems like a hard sell when trying to prove a team is actually “respecting” its opponent. At a certain point, aren’t you better off holding the ball and playing keep away?
These are the people who drive up the price of unlimited texting plans. According to the ORLANDO SENTINEL, one Florida high school cheerleader sent more than 35,000 texts in a single month twice in the past year.
(OMG! Can you believe Emilee?)
For those of you who are more mathematically inclined, you’ll realize that breaks down to approximately 74 messages per hour, more than one coming or going each minute (once sleep is factored in … assuming she does sleep). And the most amazing thing about young Emilee Cox’s texting? No one seems to mind.
Everyone makes mistakes. Sure, some are more condemning than others, but human beings can always work to get beyond them. That’s no longer the case for 17-year-old Billey Joe Johnson, one of the nation’s top underclassmen running backs who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being pulled over by a traffic patrol officer in Northeast Mississippi early Monday morning. Forget layoffs and economic distress, this is about as depressing as you can possibly get.
How big a loss is Johnson to the sporting world? Well, the odds are that in the coming years you would have learned a lot more about him. The junior was being recruited by just about every school in the SEC, and he had scholarship offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, among others.
Police are keeping quiet about whether Johnson’s death was a suicide or a pure accident, but an accidental shooting that instantly kills him (i.e., that hits his head or carotid artery) with a shotgun seems like a major leap of faith. After all, he was either wielding or moving a shotgun, and the fact that he had a shotgun sitting in the front of his truck would lead one to believe he had a pretty good idea of how to safely operate one.
The University Interscholastic League in Texas is the owner of the largest steroid testing program in the nation. The tests aren’t for professional athletes or cattle instead high school students are randomly sampled for ‘roids.
The steroid testing program was approved by the Texas Legislature which allotted $6 million over two years to the UIL. The findings have been terrible so far. Read more…