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Beauty Out of Ugly Things

Beauty Out of Ugly Things
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Which is less forgiving, sky-diving, or bocce? Go-cart racing or putt-putt? Basketball, or football? Swimming, or archery? Table-tennis or water-skiing? Baseball, or Ice hockey?


If forced to make a choice, which of these would you choose? Why? What is your criteria?

Go back to the original question, though – which of these is more unforgiving?

Speaking of forgiveness – some former NFL players are suggesting that football is played more safely now than it was 20-30 years ago. Does that mean that all sports are generally safer now? More forgiving? Well, no. but are they? Yes, probably. Maybe? At least perhaps. And if not in the pros, at least for kids…?

But wait – today – in reality – the issues are far less unforgiving. That’s what they are, yes? We love and protect our kids, yeah? This is a luxury we now have, yes? That we love them, and protect them, and so their lives are more forgiving, and less unforgiving…right?

Interestingly, for high school athletic directors today – in this day and age – maybe, uh – not so much.

Back when Bruce was singin’ bout “Glory Days,” we used to get in trouble for things – bad things. Chewing gum in class could get you a high school detention. Being in the halls without a hall pass; Making faces behind the teacher’s back; Excessive tickling; Eating snacks in the hallways – all heinous crimes, once. But not today…

Today, it’s been reported that the security matters of first concern for athletic venues often include alcohol sales, terrorist threats, and public transportation schedules. Far cry from bubble gum and hormones. Aye, yi yi!! And yes, this has even trickled into to high school athletics. You know it. To not talk about it is like cutting off our noses to spite our faces.

The first step to addressing security concerns is – what? Awareness. Ok. Check. We got that. What’s next? Please go speak to your local athletic director, community center director, and/or restauranteur (everything goes better with food). Let’s get the conversation started – around the water cooler, standing in line for services, in the doctor’s offices, in churches, at the barber shops, in one another’s homes – wherever people in your community come together. And let’s start having this conversation. How can we make where we live safer for everybody. Everybody. EVERYBODY. Ok? Then hit me back with your responses…and let’s share what people are saying…


Attwood, E. (2017). High School Ads more proactive as security awareness grows. Athletic Business, January/February 2017, pp. 36 – 40. AB Media, Inc. Madison, WI.

By Dr. Rodney J. Blackman

Dr. Rodney J. Blackman is the Chair of Recreation Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at rblackman@ussa.edu.


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