By RJ Walters
Exclusive Walters ‘n Words blog post
Nothing in sports at any level gets my blood boiling quite like piss poor sportsmanship — so I must say thank you to a handful of Quincy fans at last night’s Hillsdale, Quincy boys basketball game — because my blood was at least at 106 degrees fahrenheit by the end of the contest.
Before almost every single MHSAA sporting event the P.A. announcer reads off a statement on how good sportsmanship is an essential to the game at hand because high school sports is just an extraciricular form of education in some ways.
From the ugly collage of things I heard coming out of some Quincy fans mouths Tuesday I know most of them heard that statement, but regard it? Ha, I think not.
It should first of all be noted that Hillsdale cruised past Quincy from the get-go. This alone wasn’t going to help the situation, because Oriole fans, like almost all county sports fans, seem to have a grudge with Hillsdale sports teams because they are bigger, and yes, of course, better too. Every diehard thinks their school is the best and Quincy fans are no exception, so I must state that up front.
But 6-10 Oriole faithful took it too far Tuesday. Late in the second half one such fan blurted out, rather angrily: “That’s why everyone hates them so much over here. Because they hire officials who will only make calls for them.”
And unfortunately, that wasn’t the tip of the iceberg.
The iceberg itself was built on more than a few F-bombs directed at the refs, “bull****” arising from the crowd at least once every three minutes and several fanatics using the Lord’s name in vain while directing their displeasure at the officials. All this with a few dozen teenagers mixed in throughout the visiting crowd. What a great example for our youth I must say.
Yet these same adults, who lacked basic self-control or so it seemed, wanted to constantly rag on the Hillsdale High student section across the way for harmless, fun chants when Orioles players were at the foul line.
Sure the Hornet fans belted out “Beeeeeedddddd wettt-tttt-eeer” and “You can’t read!” to try and distract the players. But they weren’t personal attacks, just the same goofy teenage stuff they scream at the top of their lungs every game.
It wasn’t like the student section was screaming out “M.I.P.” to a player who had a criminal record or chanting “You are gay!” or some other derogatory, offensive language, which I might add is certainly present at some high school and many collegiate sporting events.
Yet, one of the over-the-top Oriole moms had the gall to continue to yell across the gym at the student section, as if the kids could actually here her.
“Yeah Hillsdale, reallll classy you guys are. Where’s the athletic director to step in and take care of the situation? Reallll classy.”
She also happened to be the same lady who thought every single time the whistle blew it was against Quincy, even though in truth the Hornets committed more fouls in the contest. She was constantly remarking that Hillsdale players were trying to always trip Quincy players and they needed to “get off them”, when all the Hornet players were doing was playing stingy, in-your-grill defense. Imagine that.
It was also the same fan who was enraged when Hillsdale head coach Brad Felix called a timeout early in the fourth quarter to ream his team out for not keeping the Orioles off the offensive glass. Felix is one of the best teachers in the entire county sports scene, and he uses every opportunity to make his kids better, but this Oriole supporter just thought Felix was being mean, evident by her words.
“Yeah sure, yell at your kids when you’re ahead by 28 points! That’s exactly what I would want my kids coach to do. Geez man, get a grip!”
FHI…a.k.a. For Her Information, Felix has a grip, a grip on winning ,respect and teaching lessons, that is.
At least one other Quincy supporter agreed with the ripping on Felix though.
After Felix took out his starters with about four minutes left a few of the reserves made mistakes, imagine that. And this particular fan made sure he voiced his opinion on the matter to the Hornets coach.
“You should really retire before next year coach! All your horses are going to be gone and then who is going to be doing all the winning?”
So according to this guy coaches don’t really matter and they in fact don’t mold players, run the X’s and O’s and establish a programs identity. All they do is wait for good players to show up, put on a suit twice a week and reap the benefits. Riiight.
Then again, this is the same guy who actually yelled this, word-for word, just minutes before the final buzzer sounded.
“Do you know what a hand-check is ref? Probably what you do in your bathroom when you go home.”
Well apparently what this immature fan doesn’t do when he goes home is give himself a good look in the mirror and think about what he says and what type of example he might be setting.
Sure it’s not okay for high schoolers to be high schoolers, but this group of 30, 40 and 50 somethings can say whatever they want, as loud as they want and actually laugh at each other’s disrespectful comments as if it’s their favorite way to bond together.
Ron Burgundy would certainly be proud of you select group of Quincy fans. Me — not so much.
It’s time to grow up or stay home.