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Sports Can Bring The Community Together

Darryl McGee
CONTRIBUTOR
366   //    22 Jan 2018, 10:42 IST

For as long as I can remember, I have always been told the following. “If you have something to say, just say it.” Actually, allow me to rephrase that. “If something is bothering you, do not hold it within. Discuss the problem with someone. Harboring problems within is not good for your health.” As a child, I did not really pay much attention to advice which was given to me. I sure wish that I had paid attention. When one is younger, the human attention span, brain, and mindset are not fully developed. Now, I am no doctor of any kind (whatsoever). In order to make such an assessment, I do not possess any type of educational training. My college degree is in Communications-Print Journalism. What I am doing is using “COMMON SENSE.” As a minor, I did not possess much “common sense.” After I entered college and became an adult, that is when I “MENTALLY GREW UP.” At that time period, I realized that those previously-mentioned phrases held a great deal of importance.

Up until this very moment, my life has still been struggling. Within my mind, body, and soul, I do not always express my feelings. Whenever I do express them, it is not always in the manner which I adequately should confront them. That needs to change. It has to change. Currently, I am in the process of making changes in my life. In order to improve my life for the better, I am taking this process very seriously. If I do not, I cannot ever expect to change. The normal would always remain in existence. Now, allow me to stop right there. In your mind, I am very certain that you have one question (for me). “Out of everything (which I have stated up until this point), what does any of it have to do with SPORTS?” To be perfectly honest, it does not have anything to do with sports! In fact, it has a whole lot to do with both SPORTS and LIFE! To go even further, it can deal with other aspects, as well. However, I am not going to get into all of that. Right now, I have a purpose. Please, allow me to explain that purpose.

Right here (in the City Of Xenia, Ohio), a very prominent problem exists. That problem stretches all the way to Wilberforce, Ohio. Although so many people try to deny it, I am going to say the following. Wilberforce is its own separate entity. However, I have always considered Wilberforce to be another part of Xenia. Wilberforce is an extension of Xenia. While I am not going to get all into the relationships and/or differences which exist between Wilberforce and Xenia, I do want to discuss one problem. It is a problem which no one has talked about before. For another publication (in the past), I have previously written about the issue. It just seems that no one else ever wants to discuss it. If they do ever discuss it, the discussion is very brief. In terms of size, my column (here) is not going to be able to get into every detail of the matter. In order to utilize the subject of SPORTS as a problem solver, I am going to try my very best. The only request which I have is simply the following. Please, pay attention to all which I say. Utilize an open-mindset. Whether you agree and/or disagree with what I say, I just want you to respect where I am coming from. You may very well learn something new. Just see if you can figure out the connection of the problem (of which I discuss) to SPORTS.

As many of you (if not all of you) should already know, the relationship which exists between the City Of Xenia and THE Central State University (CSU) is not the best. For many years, it has been that way. Sometimes, I truly wonder how it all got so bad? Why is the relationship so negative and strained? I am about to say something which some people always privately say. In a public sense, they remain calm and quiet. RACIAL MISUNDERSTANDING is a major factor for the disconnection which exists between Xenia and CSU. Some people will privately say that to themselves. Those same people just do not want anyone else to know how they really feel. Personally, I honestly believe that there are a wide variety of reasons why some Xenia citizens have no use (whatsoever) for CSU. The purpose of this particular column is not to completely dissect the situation. True, I want to figure out why each side has a dislike for the other. I want everyone (who will read this column) to know that information. I want to create an aspect of understanding. Once again, I do not possess the appropriate amount of space and time. It is very plain and simple. A simple column (like this one) would not do the subject any justice. In order to fully define the situation, a great amount of space is needed. In this particular column, I want to provide a potential solution.

Before I go any further, I must make two admissions. I do not have the ultimate power to change how any citizen of Xenia feels about CSU. On the other hand, I do not have the ultimate power to change how the CSU Family feels about Xenia. By reading the words which I put forth, I just hope that I can alter some mindsets (for the better). In order for people to ultimately change, they need the healing power of God (or whatever higher power which they believe exists). Also, people must find the need within themselves to want to change. God, I, and/or anyone else can lead them to the problem. However, no one can make them change. Solving the disconnection between Xenia and CSU is impossible to totally end. Forever, there will remain people (on each side) who dislike the other. For anyone to say that he/she can solve the disconnection is like saying that disease and/or racism can be ended. Each in its own individual way, both Xenia and CSU are communities which need to be admired and respected. Like any other community, each has its advantages and disadvantages. Perfection is an asset of which no person, place, and/or thing possesses. Therefore, I do not expect either Xenia and/or CSU to be “PERFECT.” Each entity needs to work on its own deficiencies. Before the disconnection is healed, both sides need to work on personal development. That is how some people would feel. Well, I have to say the following. Thoroughly, I disagree with that sentiment!

Please, do not misunderstand me. Under normal circumstances, I would agree. Before one attempts to assist another, he/she needs to work on himself/herself first. If you feel that way, you are not wrong. With individual human-beings, that type of assessment works best. However, The City Of Xenia and CSU are large groups. Those large groups include many individuals. Therefore, in order to adequately address the situation of disconnection, what would be the proper method? For example, with individuals/representatives from both sides, you could fill up Doug Adams Stadium (Xenia High School’s – XHS – Football Stadium). With William Patrick McPherson Memorial Stadium (CSU’s Football Stadium), the same could be performed, as well. Once all of the people are together in the same location, there would only be one thing left to do. “Everyone needs to talk out their issues (with the opposite side).” From a very young age, that way of behavior was always embedded into my mindset. My parents always told me, “Darryl, if you have a problem with someone, that same individual and yourself need to talk out your differences (with one another).” In order to prevent one prominent, negative occurrence, my parents always stressed that. The occurrence (of which I speak about) is: FIGHTING. Now, I am not saying that representatives of both Xenia and CSU are going to fight one another. I am not alluding to that being the case. I am just expanding upon an example. That is all which my intentions are.

Getting back to the situation at hand, allow me to ask you a question. In order to cure the existing disconnection between the communities of Xenia and CSU, will a whole lot of talking do the complete job? I do not know what you think. However, I have my strong opinions. The Human Attention Span is less than 20-Minutes. Therefore, a whole lot of lecturing may not truly end the disconnection (involving this situation). In fact, it could make matters worse. As more and more talking takes place, more and more “TRUE FEELINGS” will be released. As those true feelings are released, the potential for anger and resentment to set in is extremely possible. During the course of working out any types of differences, the possibility for anger and resentment is always an issue. After all of the lecturing (which I have been doing to you), you still probably have one question on your mind. “What does the disconnection between Xenia and CSU have to do with SPORTS?” The answer (to that question) is very simple. In fact, allow me to begin with a question. Initially, I can answer your question with a question. For as long as you can remember, what is one quote which people have always stated (about the subject of SPORTS)?

“Sports can bring the community together.” Regardless of whether or not you believe in that statement, you have to admit that it does carry some merit. If you do not believe me, just checkout any elementary school, high school, middle school, and/or college athletic event in your home city or local area. If the opportunity presents itself, attend a professional sporting event. Look all around the arena, gymnasium, or stadium. What do you see? Of course, I already know the obvious. You see people of various nationalities and races. Being that I am a Sports Journalist (and Sports Fan), I see the exact same (whenever I attend various events and games). However, I see other aspects as well. I see people who are Democrat; Republican; Independent; Gay; Straight; Religious; Non-Religious; etc. The list goes on and on. I could name an endless amount of differences which exist amongst the people. Regardless of the various differences which exist, do you know the one aspect which all of the people have in common? The one commonality is that every single one of the people is a: “SPORTS FAN.” If they were not that, then why would they be in attendance (at a sports event)? Likes & Dislikes; Agreements & Disagreements; Love & Hate; etc. all does not matter. At sports events, it seems that all people are able to put all of that aside. As a result, for a short amount of time, people are friendly with one another. The only hitch in that can be when people cheer/root for opposite teams. Other than that, all of the people are like one, big, happy family. After the events come to a close, the people can then go back to their respective lives and viewpoints.

After a time period of almost 10-years, CSU’s Football Team was reinstated. In 2005, that occurrence took place. At the same time, a brand-new, football game was created. That game was named: The Dayton Football Classic (or Dayton Classic). In the days leading up to the football game, a series of events (including a parade) were held in The City Of Dayton, Ohio (and other parts of the local area). On either Saturday or Sunday, the football game itself took place. On the campus of The University Of Dayton (UD) Flyers, the football game was played. Each year, the game consisted of CSU playing against a different college or university. UD was one of the Marauders’ opponents. In 2013, The Dayton Classic (DC) was held on CSU’s campus (inside of William Patrick McPherson Memorial Stadium). In 2014, The DC was renamed: The Marauder Classic (MC). It was inside of McPherson Memorial Stadium, as well. As of this moment, that event no longer exists. On the Marauders’ 2015 Football Schedule, the event was not listed. Without any type of explanation (whatsoever), the event was dropped. Will The Marauder Classic ever return? Although I cannot provide a definitive answer, I will say no. However, that would be a situation which you would have to take up with Central State’s Athletic Department and other CSU Administrators.

Although I cannot definitively say whether or not The Marauder Classic will actually return, I do have a solution. In fact, I would not say solution. A solution is the solving of a problem. I do not view this as being a problem! Therefore, allow me to rephrase my words. Instead of a solution, I have an IDEA! The Marauder Classic needs to make its return! However, the format needs to change. First, the event’s name should change. Instead of being called The MC, I have two, potential, new names. Those names are “The Xenia Classic” or “The Greene County Classic.” Next, instead of the game being played inside of McPherson Memorial Stadium, the game needs to be played inside of Doug Adams Stadium (Home of The Xenia High School Buccaneers). Being that SPORTS CAN BRING THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER, the creation of such an event could help end the gap which exists between Xenia and CSU. Something can be done to extinguish the harsh and negative feelings which exist on both sides. Would the creation of such an event lead to “PERFECT HARMONY?” In order for me to totally believe that would occur would be extremely unwise. No situation could ever be molded into PERFECTION. However, the relationship (between Xenia and CSU) could use some much-needed, positive healing/improvement.

There are so many reasons for why I believe that a “Xenia Classic” or “Greene County Classic” could (and would) work. Out of all of those reasons, two of them truly standout. If such an event was to come to fruition, “It could showcase The CSU Sports Program to the communities of both Xenia and Greene County.” Another benefit would be: “Citizens can experience first-hand that all is not bad & negative with CSU.” At every CSU Sports Event (which I attend), there are barely any community members from either Xenia and/or Greene County, Ohio present. The only present ones are those who are affiliated (in some type of capacity) with CSU. Definitely, that needs to change! As a Sports Journalist, I have attended many high school and college events in Greene County, Ohio. Those gymnasiums and stadiums always contain a lot of spectators. If I attend sporting events at CSU (and nearby Wilberforce University), community members never fill up the seats. That needs to change! In both Xenia and Greene County, there are way too many sports fans. At every sporting event which CSU (and Wilberforce University) presents, large amounts of spectators should always be viewable. For example, it makes no sense (whatsoever) for me to be able to walk into a gymnasium and be able to count the number of spectators using my hands & fingers! That is the absolute truth. I am not lying. On many occasions, I have been able to do that. I should never have to deal with such an experience.

For all CSU Students (and other members of The CSU Family), I have some advice for you. Whenever you go out into the Xenia Community, you are not only representing yourselves. More importantly, you are representing Central State University! For reasons unknown, so many people (within the Xenia Community) already possess negative opinions about CSU. Therefore, if you present negative behavior to them, what type of viewpoints do you expect to receive? Now, I will be the first to admit the following. Whether anyone wants to agree with me or not, the situation is like this. There are some CSU Students who have no business matriculating on campus! How do I know? First and foremost, I am a Central State University Graduate. I am a Journalist. Therefore, I spend a lot of time on campus. When I am out and about in the Xenia Community, I come into contact with many CSU Students. Normally, that contact is mostly indirect. Regardless, I am always put into the position of observing the students’ behavior. On many occasions, I have witnessed extremely lewd behavior. Some of the loudness and vulgar remarks (both which can be heard by anyone in the vicinity) are overly embarrassing! I (nor any individual matriculating in Xenia) should ever have to be subjected to such negative behavior.

Can all CSU Students (or members of The CSU Family) be judged by the negative behaviors of a few “BAD APPLES?” Is that fair? SIMPLY NOT!!! That is the only way which I can adequately answer those two questions. Every individual (associated with CSU) is not a bad human-being! CSU is not a bad, educational institution. On every college campus (in the entire country), “BAD APPLES” will always exist. However, every other individual just simply cannot be stereotyped into the “BAD APPLE” category. Utilizing both an open-mind and complete fairness, that is how the “NON-BAD APPLES” should be judged. In order to judge/label people in a negative light, those same people have to give you a reason (for such harsh treatment). Also, there is something else which I must warn the Xenia Community about. DO NOT ALWAYS BELIEVE EVERYTHING WHICH YOU HEAR AND/OR READ ABOUT CSU!!! Most of those words come from people who have never been on CSU’s Campus before. If they have been on campus before, it has not been often. Allow me to go a step further. This remark may seem quite odd. As far as CSU goes, DO NOT ALWAYS BELIEVE WHAT THE MEDIA TELLS YOU!!! Now, I know what you are probably thinking. “Darryl McGee, are not you a member of the media?” Yes, I am a member of the media. However, unlike some other media members, I practice GOOD ETHICS. I utilize both good judgment and an open-mind.

Ent
Darryl McGee
CONTRIBUTOR
I am a Sports Journalist
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