The Sports Informant

Your inside source for West Coast sports. Yeah, it rhymes.

The Weekly Snitch: March 10, 2010

By Patrick Ibarra

OK, I know what’s been on everyone’s mind all week: Where the heck is “The Weekly Snitch?” It’s true, I’ve been procrastinating on posting this week’s column. With all the sports I’m surrounded by currently, from high school playoffs to professional basketball and Mixed Martial Arts, how can I not have something to share an opinion about?

Honestly, it’s because so many important events are going on this week that I kept my opinion at bay. A journalist first and columnist second, the hard-hitting news is first and foremost, because without it, what’s there to have an opinion about?

So I bit my tongue about how bad the Kings are playing, or how excited I am for local basketball teams and wrestlers to be competing on the highest level, for the sake of informing you of such events first. Today, finally, I get a second to catch my breath and ramble…

High school basketball brings me joy

It’s no secret I’m a basketball fan. So when March Madness comes around every year, as a Gonzaga University alum, I’m crazy with fandom in the sport. While waiting for the NCAA tourney to begin, though, I’ve found great joy in following our local high school basketball teams, not because I have to as a reporter, but because I’ve learned the love these student-athletes have for the game.

It’s not about advertising dollars for network television — there are no TV timeouts or big budget contracts. It’s about banding together with friends you’ve grown up with to form a team worthy of beating the best around. It’s about earning a banner for your high school’s gym, so you can come back one day as an adult and see it still hanging, dusty but reminding you of glory days you shared in that same gym. It’s about playing your heart out as long as you can, for most knowing these are the last days you’ll ever play an organized sport.

So as our local teams shift from section championships to possible state ones, I find no greater pleasure than watching the stands fill with parents and fans supporting these young athletes. Nothing can compare to the roar of a crowd when a high school senior hits a game-winning shot in a playoff game, and with several local teams still alive in the playoff hunt, there are even more opportunities for heroics on an even bigger stage.

We should consider ourselves lucky.

A side note: I watched my old alma mater Granger High School compete at the WIAA/Dairy Farmers of Washington/Les Schwab Tires 1A Boys State Basketball Championships last weekend. While I enjoyed watching the boys team take seventh and the girls team finish second in the state, both accomplishments the teams I played for never got close to matching, I couldn’t help but focus on one overpowering thought: That’s a ridiculously long title for a tournament.

It reminded me how far we’ve come with sponsorships in sports in our society. Football stadiums in the NFL don ridiculous names to appease their owners and it trickles all the way down to our high school sports system. Not much you can do about it, whoever pays the big bucks makes the calls, but just once instead of the “Chic-fil-A Bowl” I’d like to see the “Muddy Battlefield Bowl.” That’s something I would want to watch.


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