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Inside the Chrome Dome (archive October 2007)

Please refer to the Inside the Chrome Dome main page for columns published in other issues.




 There Are Some 'Fans' the Panthers Can Do Without

Idiots and morons.

We all know some of them, and many of us have to occasionally deal with them. Most of the time, we usually prefer not to talk to or about them.

But there comes a time, and well, the time is now.

A “moron” is defined for the most part as a person who has the mental capacity of less than a three-year-old and an IQ of less than 25.

I think those are interesting words, and it’s just not often you get to use those words in a sports column.

You can find my byline in newspapers dating from the mid-1970’s to present day, and ranging in publications from Pennsylvania to Missouri and most states in between.

Rarely have I ever found the appropriate occasion to use words like idiot and moron, unless I was referring to some stupid thing I had done. But I have now.

Rewind to the Knightstown-Triton Central football game played October 19. I was standing on the sideline watching the Panthers give up 50 points in the first half. The team was clearly out-matched from the opening kickoff. That should have taken no one by surprise.

I usually sugar-coat everything when it comes to Knightstown Panther athletics. It’s not my job to sit in judgment of those student-athletes who are participating in sports because they love doing it. There are no Panthers on the payroll. This isn’t professional sports.

Did the team play their worst game of the season against Triton Central? No doubt about that. They also played the best team they had faced all season.

Some understand, and some don’t, that there is a certain amount of pressure those 16- and 17-year-old kids face when they play high school athletics. In football, Knightstown, in an eight-year span, made two appearances in the RCA Dome to play for a state championship. In basketball, the boys won three straight sectional titles and went to the final four one year.

There are high expectations, and everyone should understand that level of success isn’t going to be reached every year. For the most part, that much talent tends to run in cycles at most high schools who do not recruit their athletes.

Did the Panthers fold up the tent prematurely against Triton Central? Some of them, maybe. They lost to an 0-8 team and then had to face a 9-0 team the next week. It was pretty obvious some of those kids were waiting for the season to be over.

But the truth was, the Panthers played their worst game of the year and Triton Central played its best. When those two things happen, so do blowouts.

It was a disappointing football game to a lot of people. But wow, it was really disappointing for the few idiots and morons in the Knightstown bleachers at Triton Central.

Those were the people who were blasting the kids, coaches and everyone who gave them a raised eyebrow. They repeatedly insulted and criticized the players, and it was noticed on the sidelines. A few players complained in disbelief. Two of the game officials said they had never heard anything like it.

Other Panther fans were embarrassed. Coaches were angry. Players were frustrated.

Nobody over-hypes Knightstown High School sports more than I do, folks. It’s my job. But was that sectional football game that important to you?

If I had all of your names I’d publish them right here. I’d print your telephone numbers, too. You deserve public criticism on the same level you dished it out to a bunch of high school kids at that football game.

In a letter to the editor last week, Knightstown resident Mike Fender said it well when he penned, “It is really sad that this group set such a bad example for our kids. What a night for our seniors to remember as their last football game.”

Well put by a man who rarely finds reason to criticize others.

Of course, I see it a little differently because I’m just not that nice of a guy. If you are looking for the Christian reaction to the behavior of those idiots, you aren’t going to get it in this column.

Those fans opened up the already-present wounds, poured salt in them, and then rubbed that salt in for good measure. They embarrassed the team, the coaches, and all of the other fans present, not to mention anyone associated with the school. All we can hope for now is that they aren’t basketball fans.

They should be identified and banned from attending future KHS sporting events.

In short, they were a classless bunch of morons.






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