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A Closer Look

POSTED August 25, 2013
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


   

                                                      A Closer Look

 

         I continued to be amazed by the lack of journalistic integrity regarding the constant references to Joan Toribio and Edgar Gonzalez who were arrested on statutory rape charges this winter as Torrington High football players.

            Let’s try this one more time, the two students were seniors and had completed their careers months before the incidents occurred. At best they were former football players. And of course, football was all they had in common, right?

            At the risk of sounding like a broken record, area media outlets just don’t get this or want to sell papers and don’t care about it. Why am I harping on this? Because a tragic, ugly incident has become the fault of the football program by implication from the constant inaccurate references.

            Even the Torrington school board has bought into it all, revamping the student athlete handbook based on off-field activities, not the least of which is the Toribio, Gonzalez affair. All of this indicating by action this is a `sports’ problem.

            Nobody is minimizing what has happened. But the idea that this is a football and athletic problem, and the two have certainly become the fall guys here, is short-sighted and grossly unfair. It is a school and community problem. What is being done in those areas? All we hear about is the athletic program.

            The football program has always had high standards. I have a copy of their expectations and they are solid. New coach Gaitan Rodriguez is making sure the student athletes know what is expected of them. Monitoring what students do out of the program after their careers are over is a bit more difficult to do.

            There was hazing incident last season and talk of loose control. It is being dealt with. But the program is not the cause of all evil behavior here.

            I have often criticized schools for pulling the ostrich routine and refusing to talk after something happens that they don’t feel reflects well on their school. We haven’t gotten much from the higher-ups at Torrington on this issue which can be frustrating.

            But considering the way the press has portrayed much of what has happened, part of me doesn’t blame them.

            This has been an ugly situation from A to Z. But to lay the blame on the football program with inaccurate references and by implication is just plain wrong and the media needs to wake up. So far it is in a deep slumber.

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            ESPN began televising the first of 26 high school football games this weekend. What’s next, Little League regular season. How much is enough? These are 14-18 year-old kids. Do their mistakes need to be nation-wide? Do their exploits need to be nation-wide? We really need to think about what we are doing and tell ESPN to find something else to fill up its hours. This should worry us.

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            Westport sure gave it a run, didn’t it? To play for the United States Little League championship is one proud summer to put on your permanent resume. And, how good was that semifinal 14-13 win over Washington in seven innings when the team was down, 12-5?

            Westport was man-handled by a superb Chula Vista, Cal. team Sat., 12-1. But, this is all about what is and not about what might have been. What a great summer for that team, one they will be talking about 50 years and more down the road.

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My son just started the fall baseball season which means baseball will occupy about seven months of the year. One thought here. Guys could we stop scheduling Sunday morning games. My son does go to Sunday School, please allow him that option. He does not have another one, there are no Saturday services.

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            The high school fall sports season began Saturday, well all but football which has been out there for a while, and I assure you that there are more balls being being batted and kicked than just the old pigskin. The weather speaks summer, the calendar speaks fall. The calendar wins. Action opens up the week of Sept. 8. Stay tuned.

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            I know it is only preseason but I worry about my Giants. They still can’t score inside the 20-yard line and Eli looks almost rusty. Okay, I know it is early but Dallas looms in the not too soon future.

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            Not only is Mr. Gaffney now happily retired (actually it is a career change) and  fresh off a couple of days of R&R, but Monday is his birthday. Have a great day Mr. Gaffney.

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            Tri-State Commissioner Ed Gadomski did a nice job with the Hall of Fame induction ceremony Wednesday night at Fuessenich Park before the opening of the championship series between Naugatuck and eventual champion Tri-Town.

            Gadomski had double duty since he also was one of the inductees. Once again congratulations to Tim Hamel, D.J. Reese, Rich Thomson, Chris Clark, Pat Murphy, Bill Leifert and Jay Rocca. 

           

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