Friday, April 17, 2009

It's Been a Long Time Comin...

So the whole Zombie thing is going to have to be put to's now too far removed to go back to something like that, and there are bigger fish to fry anyway...


How does that look to you?

A blowout?

A far superior team against another who does not match up in any way, shape, or form? One that couldn't even get a stroke of luck?

Do you think it's probably 100-0 because that's the way a lot of people wanted it to end? Wanted to show that they could score 100 points on a far less athletic team?

Well it happened recently and has been coming back into the news after an ESPN60 interview.

On January 13 this year the private Christian School of Covenant defeated Dallas Academy 100-0.

So you think they ran up the score? It was 59-0 at halftime.

Coach Micah Grimes for Covenant was fired later that month and said he would not apologize for how the game ended. People are outraged...

...I am not.

Sure it may look terrible on TV media outlets...that's what they are supposed to do. Vilify an individual with a lot of integrity and a fine demeanor about himself. During the interview on ESPN60, Coach Grimes neither came off arrogant nor misunderstanding of why people may be upset with him. He can see both sides, he understand why people are upset over what happened between those solid lines in a small gym in Texas. But he is not sorry for it, and neither would I be.

The first thing I look at is the score. 35-0 in after the first quarter, 59-0 after two, 88-0 after the third, and the final capping out at 100-0. So the point totals scored in each quarter are 35, 24, 29, and 12. Surely by the numbers themselves to can tell that Covenant slowed everything down in the 4th quarter. The slowed their overall scoring attack from 59 to 41 in the second half. The numbers alone show that Coach Grimes found a way to lessen the blow on Dallas Academy.

Secondly...and I think the second most important factor in this debate is that Dallas Academy only had 8 girls on the team. Now that might not sound too drastic, but consider that Dallas Academy on has 20 girls that attend school and have never won a game in 4 years. The Academy is also known to not forfeit, or call off games when they had been losing by insurmountable margins.

20 girls? You are trying to create a VARSITY basketball that is competitive...with 20 girls enrolled in your school system? There is just no way that will ever be possible. ESPN60 received an editing version of the game tape, which one parent had shot during the course of the game. Right from the opening tip you could see that Dallas Academy was undersized in every position and was slower and less talented than Covenant. There is no reason why an athletic director or a head coach for that matter can't see how overmatched their program is night in and night out. There was a suggestion by one of the correspondents of the ESPN60 showing that Dallas Academy should either play JV games or just get rid of the team all together. Now if the girls want to play basketball, I think they should...but JV games would definitely suit them a lot better. How much better, we don't know. But I don't think you'd see another 100-0 game.

Coach Grimes played this game the right way and told his players to play it as such. Which brings me to my third and most important factor on why this outrage is uncalled for. The girls were just playing the game the best way they knew how. The point of a basketball game is to score more points than the other team. After the first made bucket by Covenant, off of one pass from the opening tip, the team got into their full-court press, which they do every game. I believe the report stated that after the score was 25-0 the team backed off and Coach Grimes placed them into a zone defense.

What took place for the next 3 quarters was literally the same scenario every time Dallas Academy came down the floor...dribble passed the timeline, stop, pass to the wing where a Covenant player would steal the ball and then go in for a layup. The Dallas Academy coach said Covenant were running "lay-up drills" on them. Very true. So why didn't he tell his girls after the 30th+ ball was stolen, to fake the first pass and then pass behind the zone? For one, his team consists of girls who would never see the light of varsity girls basketball minutes had not they gone to Dallas Academy. And two, maybe the coach didn't say anything once he saw what was taking place on the floor.

Another disturbing image was when Dallas Academy broke into the zone, got up a shot and Covenant rebounded under their was like the Academy was hoping there was another set of girls playing defense on the other end. Covenant surely pushed the pace early in the game...which is what they are supposed to do. But into the second half and fourth quarter, all Covenant had to do was make one pass to the outlet and they were free from there. There were four or five shots from the edited home video of 5 Covenant players on one half of the floor, making 2-3 passes before making a layup, with no Dallas Academy played in sight. Are you kidding me? Don't complain about the score being run up or the other team playing the game the wrong way if you don't coach your athletes, or lack there of, the wrong way or no way at all.

I was apart of a traveling rec basketball team in 7th grade that lost a game 76-6. Sure the team we played had been together over the years and grew up together while our team had just been put together that year. But they were also running "lay-up" drills on us. It wasn't until late in the fourth quarter where we scored our points, 4 of them by the second to last man on our bench. I remember my dad, who coached the team, taking me out of the game after I came down time after time throwing the ball into an opposing teams players hands for a layup. My mom got upset at my dad for this, but even I told her "Mom I was playing terrible." The thing is that was one of our first games of the year and we got better. We were never going to win any traveling championships, but finishing a game or so in either way around .500 was a solid season for us. Never once during, or coming home after that game did anyone say anything about the other team running up the score. We knew we played terrible, we knew we put ourselves in that situation...we knew the other team was playing the game of basketball the right way. And we knew all of this at a younger age then it seems the people who are outraged at this scenario.

Has anyone tried to talk to the kids about the game? Do you think they went into the locker room and cried? Maybe they did...but I don't think they would be crying because the other team was mean and hurtful. They would be upset with how they played, how they made the outcome appear so drastically one-sided. After the drubbing was over for this small Texas game, both teams were shown shaking hands and Covenant showed no signs of over-celebration or taunting of the other girls from Dallas Academy. Coach Grimes followed through with that same dignity by shaking the girls hands and never "fist pumping" his victory to the crowd.

It's ridiculous how people asked "why didn't you just let Dallas Academy score a point?" Coach Grimes' answer came in the form of something along the lines of it would have been more embarrassing for them if we had just let them score. Who would want to make that layup? The opposing team just standing there saying "go ahead, it's OK, we won't hurt you?" With the way the game was going, Dallas Academy would've missed the layup which would have prompted Coach Grimes to look across at the other bench with a "what would you like me to do?" look on his face.

Coach Grimes was asked what he would've done differently given the chance again and he made some good remarks. He told the interviewer that he probably would have asked the opposing coach at half time if he wanted the game to be stopped and also that he would have had the scoreboard turned off once the game was getting too out of hand.

But he would never tell his girls to stop playing...

Which is something I can stand behind.