Letters to the Editor

Rivalry bias

November 2, 2011

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To the editor:

I understand the media advantages of a rivalry, but please do not express your pro-Free State bias at the expense of the hard-working athletes. Yes, the students get competitive, but the next day we are still students, peers and friends with our cross-town “rivals.” Referring to the Lawrence High School football team sans Strauss as “declawed” is insensitive, yet typical of the Lawrence Journal-World’s high school sports page. I don’t remember reading anything about the clipped-winged Firebirds after losing Jake Walter in last week’s soccer game.

It is the adults, not the students, who make these remarks and facilitate this exaggerated rivalry. Any member of the LHS football team, including Brad Strauss, will tell you that one person does not make a team. The friendly jersey exchange between Hunter Pierce and Johannes Reiber epitomizes the incredible level of sportsmanship that these athletes have. Both sides practice strenuously, and both sides battle on the playing field. Both sides want to win. Both sides respect each other. Please follow the example of these high school students and refrain from letting your personal biases influence your coverage of high school sports. 

Comments

Getaroom 3 years, 4 months ago

Good letter Alyssa and superb points! Some athletes do play the game for higher goals than winning, or beating another team. We all like to win, but mutual respect goes far amongst opposing teams and even amongst fellow team members. Thanks for offering your thoughts to the community Alyssa, it takes maturity and guts to post anything on this blog because it is often a harsh and cruel environment.

mom_of_three 3 years, 4 months ago

AND mustrun MISSED the entire point of the letter.

anotherfish 3 years, 4 months ago

I think one point, which may not be so obvious to those who do not regularly follow LJWorld coverage of high school sports, is not just that there is a bias, but that there is a lack of respect. Remember, these athletes are kids, although they do represent their schools with class that may be lacking in some of the adults of this town. bigmac11 (below) brings up a recent article that was quite rude toward one such athlete. This is a mature, level-headed response from a young lady who probably knows many of the high school athletes, who cannot respond to such disrespect without facing backlash (especially in public forums like letters to the editor). Kudos to her for sticking up for her fellow Lions (and Firebirds).

parrothead8 3 years, 4 months ago

She's already a much better writer and communicator than you, so I don't foresee that "long difficult life" you promised.

bigmac11 3 years, 4 months ago

If you actually read what Alyssa wrote, you will see that she is not referring to ONE word in ONE article. She is using two examples to illustrate the bias not only she has noticed in the LJWorld sports section. After that especially rude article about Connor Henrichs last week written by Tom Keegan, I’m glad someone stepped up. Thanks Alyssa!

Also, mustrun, you misspelled trophies.

anothermother 3 years, 4 months ago

"Do yourself a favor, when you graduate just stay home in Lawrence close to mom and dad. Because if you left for NY or something you'd never make it. "

Make judgments without knowing the facts much, mustrun80? My son has been a classmate of Alyssa's for years. She is held in the highest regard by her friends, peers and teachers. She is highly intelligent, mature, talented and beautiful. She has a very bright future ahead of her and I am sure she will "make it" just fine.

Well written letter, Alyssa. And please feel free to ignore the jerks that have nothing better to do than attack people needlessly and ignorantly.

orbiter 3 years, 4 months ago

thank God to LJ World for printing this very important letter! I too am micro-aware of my own little world and am constantly imagining slights. I might just have to write a letter!

Vaildini 3 years, 4 months ago

Not sure what Gandalf means by this but I 'll take a shot to clear it up. Expect Republicans to start posting sometime after 5:30 when they get off from work.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Outstanding comment, with the observation that for many of us it's often much later than 5:30.

rtwngr 3 years, 4 months ago

Gandalf, inner Earth is calling. Please go.

Vaildini 3 years, 4 months ago

hahahaha Yes Gandalf I'm sure she will be able to also.

yzar41 3 years, 4 months ago

Who would have thought that a very thoughtful, well written letter by one of the most intelligent students at Lawrence High would turn into a political debate revolving around The Lord of the Rings? That could only happen in Lawrence, Kansas!

Vaildini 3 years, 4 months ago

Well lets be real on the bias. LHS went into our football game missing many players we count on each week, therefore "declawed." Her example of Free State having there "wings clipped" because Walters was missing is totally different. Sports teams often play without a player or two and in this instance,Walters got hurt during the second half of the game. So it's not even like they were without him. The headline seems pretty appropriate to me. Even our own coach was stating over and over about be real shorthanded for the game. It's what the article was about.

Spagett 3 years, 4 months ago

Alyssa makes a great point. I have many friends at Lawrence High and though I’ll root for my own high school Free State first, I don’t have anything against LHS. I’ve also noticed that biases and so called “rivalries” usually begin more through adults and media than students themselves. If the students don’t have a problem with each other, I’m not sure why this kind of coverage has to. And just to throw it out there, please ignore ‘mustrun80’. Giving them a reaction to their trolling only adds fuel to the fire.

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