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Friday’s Hottest Issue: Girls’ Basketball


You want to hear an angry debate, forget Obama vs. Economics or GOP vs. Stimulus, and check out Covenant School vs. Dallas Academy. After a 100-0 girls’ basketball slaughter, a coach–the winning coach–was fired. Weird place, America. Check out this from the Toledo Free Press:

Covenant apologized with a statement on its school Web site that used such words as “shameful” and “embarrassment,” along with a reference to it not being “Christ-like.”

The school’s head coach, Micah Grimes, disagreed and was fired.

In an e-mail posting, Grimes stated, “We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on an opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin of victory when my girls played with honor and integrity.

“I believe in the lessons that sports teach us. Competition builds character and teaches us to value selflessness, hard work and perseverance. As a coach, I have instilled in my girls these values. So if I lose my job over these statements, I will walk away with my integrity.”

Character? Values? Integrity? Is that what Covenant and its coach took from this slaughter? Most certainly not.

You know you’ve hit a cultural live-wire when newspapers all over the country are writing about an obscure sporting contest in Texas.

The media commentary on this has been almost uniform in its condemnation of Grimes and his team. Why? Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose–and sometimes you lose big. What’s the big deal? (I write from unhappy experience, having played football for by far the worst team in a rather famously competitive division and having suffered some pretty lopsided losses–think 72-6.)Without considering the theology too deeply, I’m not sure there is a “Christ-like” way to play basketball–it’s just a kids’ game. But perseverance is a virtue, too, and the losing team stayed on the court and finished the game rather than walk and take a forfeit–there’s something to be said for that.


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