It’s Monday & I haven’t had my coffee.
Might as well admit it, I’m ticked. But first, some background:
This year I’m coaching junior varsity boys’ basketball. Of the thirteen young men who tried out, only four had any basketball experience, and only three had played on an organized team. We all knew this would be a rebuilding year.
We lost several games to second-string teams with a running clock; this means the other team wasn’t playing its starters and had at least thirty point lead.
But the team listened, they practiced, they worked hard, and they progressed. The last few weeks have been exciting: my guys actually played as a team with everyone doing their job and listening both to what I was telling them and to their captains on the floor.
With the end of the season in two short weeks, I’ve desperately wanted them to win at least one game. I’ve wanted them to win all season. But what are you going to do when the majority of your team is made up of 5th – 7th graders and the teams you play are 8th & 9th graders? You can’t coach height. Nevertheless, they’ve played every single game but one with heart and effort and determination regardless of score – and there was one game we lost by over fifty points.
Then came Friday night. We were down several players for a variety of reasons, and some of them would be considered “key” players if only for their experience. In the locker room I said
This doesn’t change anything. We’re sticking with what’s been working. Play the plays, run the defense, don’t take shots unless you’re open, and rebound.
They went out on the court and played their heart out. Some fouled out. Some grew aggravated with the referees. Others stepped up and showed what they could do. One young man, on the team somewhat against his will, asked to be put in the game!
You want to go in?!? ABSOLUTELY!
Who am I going in for, coach?
I don’t know; I’ll figure it out by the time they call you in.
He blocked shots.
He stole balls.
He came t h i s c l o s e to scoring.
It was amazing to see him play.
When the buzzer went off at the end of the fourth, we saw this:
WE WON ! ! !
Of course, they wanted a team picture:
Obviously, it went out all over social media.
And then the trolls began – a thousand and one variations of
That’s not very sportsmanlike.
What’s so unsportsmanlike that you’d begrudge a victory pose for a team that finally won their very first basketball game ever?
Is it the end zone thing?
The many Number 1 fingers?
What is it?
So I ask them.
Well, it’s just not nice and you need to get them under control.
Followed by a long series of emoji that make it clear the commenters are simply trolling.
And you know what? This isn’t the first time. I remember those comments made about National Holocaust Remembrance Day. The racist, uncouth, bigoted, prejudiced fountain of filth spewing forth like the toilet backed up in the 9th circle of hell.
I wonder now why I didn’t block them then. But now, I’m doing something about it.
Blocked on Instagram.
Blocked on Twitter.
Blocked on Facebook.
Blocked on iPhone.
Sorry, trolls – I just took away your bridge. Go lurk somewhere else.