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View Diary: Steubenville: It Takes a Village... to Vilify a Victim (108 comments)

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  •  I've lived in southern Ohio (35+ / 0-)

    for twenty years now and I'm still uncomfortable with the degree to which sports - and those who engage in them - is deified.

    I was floored when I first moved here and found that primetime network programming was regularly pre-empted to show local high school football and basketball games. I'm talking shows like 60 minutes. Even the PBS stations do it!

    And don't even bother trying to watch local stations during any semi-finals week. Two weeks last fall were nothing but state cheerleading finals (one week girls, one week boys).

    I was sickened by half the local paper being dedicated to football, basketball, baseball, volley ball, cheerleading (just to give them gals equal time) etc. Literally half the paper was pictures, scores, opinion, strategy, interviews, etc. with people about some game no one would remember a year hence.

    Academic scores, Honor Rolls, Merit Rolls, Deans lists, etc? Oh they got a mention now and then - on page fifteen right before the classified ads. They didn't merit their own section, and they CERTAINLY didn't merit front page headlines! Yes, it wasn't unusual for major world news to be bumped to the bottom of the page one, or even page two, while some local team's win last night was splattered across the top of the page in 48 pt.BOLD TYPE.

    I didn't watch the Steubenville coverage, because I knew it would be terrible for my mood and blood pressure. Rest assured it was covered... every liver-pickling second of it. But I doubt it would have been had football players not been involved.

    From the little I've read here at Kos, I was right and it doesn't surprise me one bit. People in this area can be un-fucking-believable.

    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

    by Pariah Dog on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:09:29 AM PDT

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    •  Wow. Your experience does explain the surprise (13+ / 0-)

      in Steubenville. I wonder if more of this prime time preemption will come out. I have heard of towns broadcasting a red carpet for homecoming entrances in the manner of the Oscar red carpet. I wonder if it is the same area.

      guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

      by 88kathy on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:24:06 AM PDT

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      •  Well, I mostly stopped (12+ / 0-)

        watching the local stations - one of which comes out of Steubenville - several years ago. I tune in first thing in the morning to see the weather, but that's about it. So I don't know about any red carpet treatment.

        I can say during Homecoming festivities the local paper will have at least two full pages of pictures from the dances. Pictures of arrivals, and the conveyance involved, the King and Queen, girls in formals and boys in tuxedos. They do this for each and every school in the area, so we're talking a lot of coverage. I usually blow past them, but I'd venture a guess that most of the kids pictured are involved in certain extracurricular activities.

        If you want a clear understanding of the mindset, go here

        Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

        by Pariah Dog on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:47:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes this sounds like the exact story I heard/saw. (5+ / 0-)

          guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

          by 88kathy on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:56:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's the kind of thing (13+ / 0-)

            that, although it's bothered me for years, I don't tend to mention much because quite frankly it's embarrassing.

            S/E Ohio is a gorgeous area and I love it here. I came here primarily because my formerly rural home area in N/E Ohio had been overrun by the city. I thought I was moving into a population like I was used to - good common sense rural type people whose heads were on straight. So when I ran smack into this sports fanaticism... and fanaticism is even too mild a word for it... I was stunned. This is a joke, right?

            Now that's not to say that EVERYBODY is like that around here. There are some, like me, who see sports as maybe a good part of education. I mean they played football when I went to school too. But it should only be a part, not the sole focus. That's why it used to be called EXTRA-curricular activities.

            I see schools around here where the sports complexes are bigger than the freakin' school itself. Ginormous football stadiums, Olympic sized tracks, three or four baseball diamonds, basketball courts indoor and out. And this for a school with maybe 500 kids tops K-12th grade

            The lion's share of our propety taxes go to support the schools. So when local schools lay off teachers and cut entire programs, while only making sports pay to play, I feel like I'm subsidizing the sports programs more than education. I think I can safely say these kids around here aren't getting a quality education, but then that's sadly not just a local problem

            Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

            by Pariah Dog on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:28:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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