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Fights have no place at football games

Published 9:55am Monday, September 16, 2013

Football is an intense game, both physically and emotionally.

When you pit 11 guys on one side of a ball against 11 guys on the other side of the ball for four quarters, intensity is inevitable. Expected. Demanded, even.

I’m fairly certain most coaches would tell you they only want players who are willing to go to great lengths for a win, whether it’s by making a tackle, taking a tackle or avoiding a tackle on a 60-yard run to the end zone for a touchdown in the final minutes of a game.

I think the passion committed players and coaches invest is one of the reasons all football fans, myself included, flock to the games.

But lately, I’ve taken a step back to remember the other side of the coin—the side without sportsmanship.

I am a graduate of Cullman High School, which I’m sure most people are familiar with by now if for no other reason than the post-game fight that occurred a few weeks ago between a Cullman football coach and a coach from Walker High School. I’m not going to delve into who said this and who did that, and I don’t want to critique the fight.

The bottom line is physical or verbal fights, especially between two adults who are leading young people in some capacity, have absolutely no place in football or any other sport.

I was honored to interview two former high school football coaches in Chilton County several weeks ago, and I came away from the interviews with the knowledge that they placed their friendship and respect for each other above the game.

Win or lose, the coaches remained friends after every game, never letting moments of intensity related to the rivalry lead to fights.

A game is a game, and football fields should never be turned into battlefields.

Emily Beckett is a staff writer for The Clanton Advertiser. She can be reached at emily.beckett@clantonadvertiser.com.

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