Letter to the Editor: Victory (Bell) at what Price?!

Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh

Victory (Bell) at what Price?!

In your November 4, 2009 issue you published a couple of articles on the “Relentless Rivalry” between Pierce and Valley College’s football teams. We paid too high a price for the bragging rights. And while I was absent to participate in one of my own athletic activities, I was glad not to have witnessed the boorish behaviors that you reported.

More importantly I was dismayed that the Roundup reported — even highlighted — but did not take to task the head coach for his most unfortunate locker room language. Maybe in the heat of the moment, or lacking understanding of what happens when one speaks to a newspaper reporter, the coach did not consider how offensive his catchy phrase was to women. In this country, you are entitled to it, but is it really the Roundup’s considered editorial position that such talk is “harmless banter?”

Pierce has lost face, maybe in the excitement it is easy to forget that Los Angeles Valley College is a respectable, quality institution of higher education and a sister college struggling to serve the same student populations as Pierce. I would have preferred that he show hospitality and offer a handshake and a polite “Thank you” for the return of the Victory Bell that we earned fair and square in a clean game. The folks at Valley already figured out that we won the game! But I would have preferred to lost the game than to read the reported “punch them in the mouth” and your description of the Brahmas charging the Valley College sideline “like a herd of bulls” tarnishing the bell while retrieving it. This was capped with a reported parking lot scuffle that our involved players should have known to walk away from as hosts and victors.

We won a game, but what did we lose along the way, and how much of the honor did we give up to this winner-take-all attitude? Was this an exercise extracting moral defeat out of the jaws of athletic victory? Hopefully, this incident will lead to lessons in sportsmanship and honorable hospitality. These life skills will be of much greater use to all the players, even the few who may end up playing professionally and enter people’s living rooms on TV. Give me a team composed of scholar athletes and I will have a winning team every game, no matter the score.

Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh
Vice President, Academic Affairs
Pierce College