“If I had my way, someone else would have already done this.”
Jason Collins claims that it wasn’t his intention to be the first openly gay American athlete playing a team sport; that’s just the way it turned out.
Since Collins’ coming out, there has been much written about his decision and what it will mean for his career, the NBA and professional sports in general.
The outpouring of support in the media for Collins might cause one to beg the question of whether the courage Collins must have needed in order to make the announcement was necessary; there has been hardly a bad word directed towards him, and the opposing opinions that initially found the way out into the open were quickly recanted and apologized for.
But shouldn’t the mere fact that there has been nothing but positive reactions give us reason to ask how people close to Collins and professional sports actually feel about his announcement?
Call me what you will, but I am no longer a dreamy-eyed optimist and I refuse to believe that, in the high noon of politically correctness, we are getting the true picture of the reactions and emotions Collins’ announcement has caused.
Consider this: in Collins’ piece, which appeared in Sports Illustrated, there is a picture of Collins playing in a game against Shaquille O’Neal captioned, “Jason Collins (right) has played tough defense against the likes of Shaquille O'Neal throughout his career.”
(The photo and caption can be found at: http://goo.gl/qNOMg)
When one thinks of going to prison the normal sequence of events goes something like this: (1) Commit an act that is against the law; (2) Get caught; (3) Go to trial and get convicted; and (4) Go directly to jail. Lots of people have followed this format but in my case it was a little different. I have, however been to federal prison, an admission not easily made in a public forum, and I am now inclined to tell you about these events in order to get it off my conscience. This is the whole story (and I’m sticking to it).
My prison time was not done at Folsom, San Quentin, Leavenworth, or some place far from home. Embarrassing as it is I must admit that my time was done only an hour from Madison at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.
Here and now I give you the true and correct circumstances.
Sadly I am probably the only 16-year-old to have ever spent time in that devilish place. Under normal circumstances they accept only those who are 18 years of age and older but they made an exception for me.
The middle and high school football teams began preparing for the season last week; the middle school held tryouts last Wednesday through Friday and the high school team began practice this Monday. Mike Tountasakis goes over the basics (top). Jacarius Robinson tries out his throwing arm (above). photos by jesse walker
Printed in the May 9, 2013 edition.
By Nick Nunn
Over the summer, the Morgan County Citizen will be running a series of columns about Morgan County coaches, getting the inside scoop on their personal lives and interests. Each week, a different coach will be presented and then answer a few questions shedding light on who they are as people.
Stephen Vinson DeLaigle was born in Warner Robins on October 7, 1970. After graduating from Warner Robins High School, Coach DeLaigle attended University of Georgia and Mercer University, where he graduated with a Bachelor degree in Music Education. Coach DeLaigle also holds a Master of Education degree from Troy University.
Coach DeLaigle is married to Tara Kellum DeLaigle, and they both teach at Morgan County High School, where Coach DeLaigle has taught for 15 years. Currently, Coach DeLaigle teaches Chorus, Film, IB Music History and AP Music Theory.
Continuing an interest in swimming that began in high school, where he competed for his school’s swim team, Coach DeLaigle is also the head coach for the Swim Dogs at MCHS.
Two of Coach DeLaigle’s interests are SCUBA diving and traveling, which he discussed during an interview.
When did you develop an interest in SCUBA diving?
SVD: As a swimmer it came naturally to me to want to learn S.C.U.B.A. I got certified with a group of friends at age 21.
Where are some of your favorite places to dive?
SVD: Combined with my love of travel I've been diving in some really great locations. Hawaii with its great sea turtles tops the list. Recently, I dove a large sea fan garden in the Cayman Islands. The fresh water spring systems around Gainesville, Florida offer a quick fix!
What have been some of the most interesting places that you have traveled to?
Often, I don’t know what sends my mind in a particular direction, but, surely enough, I’ll find myself swamped down in some theoretical muck, not knowing how I got there, where I’m heading, or what I hoped to find in the first place.
Today, the quagmire deals with the general role of sports in society.
But why? If it indeed has a role larger than simply entertainment or economy – money in, tickets out – sports either fulfills that role or it doesn’t, and there’s not much yours truly can do about it.
Entertainment, however, is a loaded concept. In Ancient Greece, before the birth of Christ, Aristotle described the role of entertainment (in dramatic form) in his landmark work, the Poetics.
Whoa. Theater in Ancient Greece? What does that have to do with modern-day sports?
More than meets the eye, I’d contend.
It is no coincidence that sports writers figure amongst the most dramatic of those who would describe themselves as “journalists.”
The fluid and historical nature of sports gives the feeling of each individual moment in sport being just a piece of the whole, a narrative that comprises the body of understanding, which illuminates what takes place on any given day between the excluding boundary lines of a game.
If comprehended in such a light, each game, although whole in itself, becomes just an act. A scene. A moment.
Okay, we are playing x-team today. But how did we play against them earlier this season? Last year? When your father was on the team? And what will our victory or loss today mean in terms of what happened then?
Consider the last football season here at Morgan County and the seniors that played on the team last year.
The 2012 regular season ended with eight wins and only two losses, before extending two games into the postseason.