Much Ado About Nothing, Really

Have you ever listened to an argument and wondered just what all the fuss was about? That was how I felt at the recent School Board meeting and, frankly, just about every time I tune into social media and the topic of the squatting patriot holding a football is brought up. I have never seen so much ado about nothing. Well, maybe never is overstating a bit but the fervor surrounding this topic has been hard to digest. After much consideration, I have to believe that folks are simply confused and have let their hearts (and with some raging tempers) override their ability to hear what is being said.

  1. Jefferson County Patriots are still the same Jefferson County Patriots that they have been since the inception of the school. The Patriot is still the mascot. The Patriot is still the mascot. The Patriot is still the mascot. This needs to be said triple times because a whole bunch of folks believe that the Patriot mascot is being removed. That is simply not true.
  2. The only emblem being changed is the squatting patriot in the center of the football field. And, the only place that it is being changed is in the center of the field. It will still be on uniforms, on helmets and it is likely to be on the new sideline club building. It is also still on the score board that will continue to hover over the new multi sport field. The presence of the squatting patriot will continue to be strong so there is no need to worry. No one is kicking the current football emblem out of the bed, it is just being asked to scoot over just a little to make room for the rest of the athletic family.
  3. I have heard and read over and over that the Title IX issue is like the “Me Too” movement or is an ode to political correctness. Folks, I saw with my own eyes the circumstances that the Lady Patriots Soccer team endured just to have a place to practice their sport. It was unbelievable. Young women were stripping their clothes off in a public parking lot to change for practice. These same young women were heading to the shallow woods to use the restroom and those that could not use the woods were forced to leave practice and find a restroom somewhere else. The field was in poor condition and they were forced to seek shelter in cars, if they were available, if the weather turned dangerous. There is not one ounce of political correctness or snowflake or me too in their request for some consideration and relief. And, every Patriot should be appalled at the conditions their Lady Patriots were forced to practice under. The plight of the squatting patriot should pale in comparison to the plight of the Lady Patriots. And, the inequities do not stop with soccer. Softball is in dire need of field upgrades for safety reasons. The Lady Patriots representing all sports have never bemoaned the money and attention given to various male dominated sports and it is pitiful that adults (and this protest is being driven by adults) would not show the Lady Patriots just a little consideration. The field is to be a multi sport field and must meet the requirements of Title IX. More than that, it should meet the requirements of Title IX because that is what is fair and right.
  4. This complex was going to be a win-win. Football had long requested turf for their field and the track was in desperate need of attention. The Lady Patriots got a bathroom in close proximity, safe fields, a locker room to change clothes and the ability to stay on campus to practice. The only thing missing is a squatting patriot holding a football that has only sporadically adorned the field and is not representative of anything but football. It is not the school mascot. It is the team mascot and should be on team items. The multi purpose field does not belong to the football team alone. This is the perfect opportunity for parents to teach their children gratitude for the wonderful upgrades instead of stomping their feet for more. I guess nearly one million dollars in turf is not enough. We should be using this opportunity to rebuild Patriot Pride, which extends well beyond any field and is gender blind. Generally, as usual, we totally missed the big picture.

So, once and for all, the Patriot mascot is still proudly adorning JCHS walls, yearbooks, class rings and advertising material. Nothing has changed with anything except a 2.3 million dollar upgrade and the absence of a part time logo that will still be seen on the score board, helmets and football advertising tee shirts etc. If you are still enraged by the loss of the squatting patriot in mid field perhaps it is time to put your energies to better use. In the real world, where adults live and some sense of propriety reigns, this would be called a win-win. But if it just chokes those that would rather throw out the baby with the bath water to consider it a win perhaps a simple compromise is enough.

Source: Kristen Depew