Like many people, we love sports. Some sports more than others, but it is fair to say that we enjoy the competition, the drive for excellence and the camaraderie competing can bring.
We also believe that sports can be a metaphor for life. The lessons we learn and observe in sporting ventures often apply to life away from athletic endeavors.
With that in mind, allow us to introduce you to pole vaulter Charlotte Brown, a 15 year old junior at Emory Rains High School in Texas.
Last week Brown competed in the Class 3A Texas State Track and Field Finals. Brown had qualified well with a vault of 11′ 6″, but her highest successful vault in the meet was only 10′ 6″ and after failing to clear 11″, she was eliminated.
The winning height was 12-9 by meet favorite Kally Long of Wimberley, last year’s silver medalist.
Oh, did we mention Brown is legally blind?
Brown was born with normal vision but developed problems while an infant. She has no depth perception, sees no color and cannot distinguish shapes. Her range of vision is similar to looking through a tiny straw. She reads Braille and will get a seeing eye dog next month.
Brown is able to vault by using intense concentration on her approach to the pit, counting her steps and listening to coach Derek Smith yell when he tells her to launch. She places an 80-foot strip of dark, artificial turf next to the running lane to create a light/dark contrast she can follow to keep her running in a straight line.
Our beloved Maryland Terrapins (10-3) are seeded #6 in the tournament and stay at home to play Cornell (12-3.) This is a game between two teams that for the first month of the season were ranked 1 – 2 in the country, so these teams have some talent.
Maryland’s offense has been struggling, but last week they scored 18 goals on Colgate, which hopefully means the offense is back and can take the pressure off the Maryland defense, which has been solid.
You probably didn’t know him, but we did. Well, we know people like him.
Ricardo Portillo was a 46 year old man, someone who would not be considered extraordinary except to his family. As a family, the Protillos were planning a trip to Disneyland this summer, a trip that will never be realized. Portillo was a man who loved his community and loved the game of soccer. Too old to play competitively, he gave back to the game he loved so much by being an official.
Ultimately, it can be said that he paid for his love of the sport with his life.
Last Saturday, while officiating an under 17 game, Portillo issued a yellow card to a player for misconduct. The player to which he issued the card struck him in the face, sending Portillo to the hospital.
He never returned home.
After Portillo called a foul on the player for shoving an opponent following a corner kick, he cautioned the player and showed him a yellow card. While Portillo was writing the player’s information in his notebook, the player swung at him, according to the police. Witnesses said the player threw only one punch before Portillo crumpled. Police officers found him lying on the field when they responded to a 911 call.
“He was laying on the ground, on his left side in a fetal position,” a police officer wrote in his report, which was obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune. “Ricardo was complaining of pain in his face, back and being nauseated.” The report added: “He had spit up a small amount of blood in his saliva.”
Portillo was taken to a hospital, and his condition quickly deteriorated.
Portill died in less than a week from his injuries.
The 17 year old was later charged with “homicide by assault.” (more…)
Columbus High School (Texas) 4×100 relay team had just won a race which would qualify them for the state championships only to find the team was to be disqualified by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) which is the governing body of the sport in Texas.
Did the team or an individual cheat? Nope.
Did they foul another team? Nope.
So what happened?
When anchorman Derrick Hayes crossed the finish line, he raised his fingers and pointed to the heavens as a sign to give thanks to God.
The UIL considered the action to be “taunting.”
We have to say that some people are saying that this is an attack on the “freedom of religion” as the gesture was meant as “religious expression.” We believe that is incredibly limiting in scope. If the kid had crossed the line and pointed to his parents as a “thank you,” we would say his gesture was not taunting. If he had pointed at his coach, it is not taunting. If he pointed at his team area, it is not taunting. If he pointed at his teammates that ran the relay with him, it is not taunting.
“Taunting” is demeaning an opponent. This gesture was in celebration. Somehow we have reached a point in society where excelling and winning is considered demeaning and taunting.
The Miami Heat had their 27 game winning streak snapped by the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. The NBA record for most consecutive victories is 33 games by the 1972 – 1973 Los Angeles Lakers.
There is no doubt the Heat’s streak was an impressive feat. We don’t mean to diminish that accomplishment. As defending NBA champions with arguably the league’s best player in Lebron James, the Heat were getting the best performances from other teams.
So when a Chicago Bulls team missing their two best players beat the Heat on Wednesday, it was somewhat of a shock.
Yet what happened after the game deserves more scrutiny than it is getting:
With only two-tenths of a second left, James took the final inbounds pass in his own end, dropped the ball to allow time to expire, turned and walked toward the exit.
[The Heat] walked off the floor stoically, not exchanging any handshakes or pleasantries with the Bulls.
Previously undefeated and number one ranked Maryland lost to North Carolina in lacrosse yesterday 10 – 8 at home.
There have been a lot of rule changes in lacrosse this year which have led to a faster pace and increased scoring. Carolina arguably has the best attack in the country and for the Maryland defense to hold Carolina to 10 goals is amazing.
This loss is on the Maryland offense. They have to score more than 8 goals in a game.
The loss means there is no undefeated team in Division I men’s lacrosse.
It is going to be very intetesting come tournament time.
Mar 3, 2013
Posted by AAfterwit on Mar 3, 2013 | Comments Off
The University of Maryland Terrapins traveled down to Tobacco Road to face rival Duke in lacrosse.
After spotting Duke an early goal, the Terps backedbup their number one ranking and defeated Duke 16 – 7.
The game wasn’t as close as the final score.
Maryland was the better team in every part of the game. Groundballs, shooting percentage, saves, faceoffs, turnovers, etc all were in favor of the Tetps.
The thing that struck us was how much more enthusiastic the Terps were. Even in warm ups, Maryland was “up” more than Duke. They had the look and attitude of the number one team in the country and it showed everywhere on the field and most importantly, on the scoreboard.