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I like sports. No, correction: I love sports! Maybe, I love sports because, like many men, I live vicariously (and safely) through these larger-than-life gladiatorial-type athletes. Maybe, I love sports because I had the privilege of watching my son play basketball, volleyball, football and baseball when he was a kid and teenager. Maybe, I love sports because of my late granddad, Henry S. Bobo, who was truly a scholar-athlete who excelled in football and basketball. I love watching sports and I enjoy playing some sports too. The televised BCS Championship Football game that featured the Florida State University (FSU) Seminoles against the University of Auburn Tigers on Monday, January 6, 2014 is yet another reason why I love sports. Fourth quarter, and with the time running out and the odds clearly against him, FSU freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy Winner, led his team on a 80-yard drive that eventually ended with Winston tossing a clutch winning touchdown pass with only 13 seconds left on the game clock! This freshman quarterback was cool, calm, collected and confident down the stretch. This feat was especially noteworthy because for most of the game Winston did not have a “Heisman Trophy” caliber game; but Winston, unlike other Heisman Trophy winners, became the seventh winner since 2000 to win a bowl game. Now, that’s why I like sports; the last minute or last second heroics, the suspense, the drama, etc. All this reminds me of ABC’s Wide World of Sports tagline: “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport! The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat!” Somehow sports allows us to feel the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat from the comfort of our living rooms. However, I also dislike sports. Or better, I am often sadden by some athletes. For instance, hearing the post-game speeches from Winston, the Offensive MVP, and P.J. Williams, the Defensive MVP, was not only disturbing but also quite embarrassing. These young men, while heroic and quite talented on the football field, failed at speaking proper English well; yet the FSU Football Coach, Jimbo Fisher, genuinely appears to care for these guys. If he truly cares for these men, my hope is that he will strongly encourage Winston and Williams (and I am sure other players) to learn how to speak proper English because when these players hang up their cleats, when their names are no longer announced over the PA system, when they will no longer see themselves on those large stadium video jumbotron screens, speaking proper English will indeed be an imperative, a must-have skill to score on and navigate “life’s gridiron.” It is my hope that Fisher and other coaches will show how much they really love these players by telling them the hard things for their good and welfare. It is my hope is that Fisher and other coaches will stress academics so that the scholar-athlete is not a rarity but rather the norm!

One Comment

  1. Well said, I appreciate your words!

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