The good, the bad, the ugly

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2003

What a poor end to a wonderful week. For those of you who did not get to attend the cheerleading competition at the opening night of the Covington County, that's good thing and a bad thing. It's a bad thing, because you missed the demonstrations put on by dozens of dedicated young students, from middle school and high school. You missed seeing the routines they have worked hard on for years, and in Opp High Schools' case, you missed seeing a team that has twice won a national championship. You missed seeing the Kiwanis Club put on great entertainment for everyone, as the have done with every aspect of the fair this year.

But it's a good thing, too, if you weren't there, because you also missed an uglier show. You missed a show of sportsmanship that was so bad it can't even be called "poor" -- it can only be called "shameful." You missed a show of bad manners and worse attitude, a show of ugliness that should embarrass anyone who was even remotely involved.

When certain members of the audience booed certain squads' performances, and deliberately turned away, they were showing more than their backsides to the team, they were showing their backsides to their community, and to parents who raised them to behave better. It was that much worse when some of those behaving that way turned out to be parents themselves -- is this the example they set?

On the other hand, if you missed the show Thursday night, it's too bad -- because you missed a show of class and grace under fire put on by the cheerleading squads of these teams that we doubt few teenagers could ever equal, much less surpass.

There are folks who say there is too much competition in schools these days, with this contest and that contest, but in many ways, competition not only builds character -- it reveals it.