Monday, December 17, 2012

Cool Runnings?

     Indianapolis (Or the state of Indiana, for that matter) is widely known for its high school and collegiate hoops programs for both men and women. In fact, the Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team was ranked #1 in NCAA Division I basketball before getting upset by Butler on Saturday in overtime 88-86. However, last Tuesday saw one of the most lopsided final scores that you'll ever see in any sport. The final score was something that is only seen in video games. The Bloomington South girl's basketball team routed Arlington High School in Indianapolis by a score of 107-2. What's more is that Arlington's only points of the night came from free throws, one in the second quarter and one in the third. By the way, Indiana doesn't have a "no mercy" rule that ends a game when the score becomes a blowout.
     "The score is probably not what we would like to see," IHSAA spokesperson Chris Kaufman told RTV6 in Indianapolis.
     However, Bloomington South coach Larry Winters stated that they weren't trying to embarrass Arlington by running up the score and even told the Indianapolis Star that he used all nine of his players.
     "I didn't tell my girls because that would've been even more embarrassing (to Arlington)," Winters said.
     On the other side of the ball, Arlington coach Ebony Jackson expressed her disappointment in the way that Bloomington South handled the game.
     "It's not OK, but (Winters) will have to live with that." Jackson told the Star. "If that's how they want to carry themselves, that's fine."
     Jackson added that she's only focused on her squad and promised that her team will 'keep on going'. Bloomington South was 8-1 after Tuesday's game while Arlington was 0-6 after the blowout, having lost 23 straight games.
     This brings up an intriguing question concerning blowouts: When is enough really enough? Is it even enough?
     On one hand, you have a major concern for the integrity of the game. Can you imagine being the coach or even a player on the team that's at the bitter end of such a pasting? It would be humiliating for your school or your team to feel like you got manhandled in such fashion. Not only that, but blowouts generally put the effort of the players into question. It's like Herm Edwards once said:
     "You play to win the game!"
     People will look at your team and will most likely see that your team either put no effort in trying to compete or just completely suck as a team. Let's not forget that fans generally leave a sporting event early whenever a blowout ensues.
    But that's the thing about sports and athletics. You play to win the game. Take the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have outscored their opponents 108-17 in their last two games, which is third most for a two-game span in NFL history. They're also the first NFL team to score fifty points in back-to-back games since 1950 (Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants). They're also competing for one of the two NFC wild card berths and a NFC West title at 9-5, showing potential playoff opponents how scary they can be. Their high level of play is proof of how some teams have the "will to win" and are able to crank it up at the right time. The Seahawks have done a majority of the their scoring through the likes of running back Marshawn "Skittles" Lynch (241 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the last two games) and rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson went 14 for 23 in yesterday's win against Buffalo, throwing for 205 yards and a touchdown. He also ran the ball nine times for 92 yards and three touchdowns. The NFL, along with all other professional sports leagues, don't have a "mercy rule".
     Another argument for a team that's blowing out an opponent is anything can happen. Yesterday's Sunday night game saw New England getting blown out by San Francisco 31-3 in the third quarter. The 49ers did win the game, but not before enduring a 28-point comeback at the hands of Tom Brady and the Patriots. The final score ended up being 41-34 with San Francisco barely winning on the road. Last season in week four, the Detroit Lions came back from a 24-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Dallas Cowboys on the road 34-30.
     Either way, blowouts in sports may seem unethical and a blow to the integrity of a sport. However, anything can happen. So they're just another part of sports. Still, both sides give legitimate reasons as to why running up the score can either be unethical or just part of the game.

107-2--Bloomington South girl's basketball team beats Arlington. Indianapolis: ESPN, 12 December, 2012. Web.
     17 December, 2012.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Buffalo Bills [12/16/12]. Toronto: Associated Press, 16 December, 2012. Web.
     <>.  17 December, 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment