The Morning According to Us

John Heisman wasn't remorseful when he beat Cumberland 222-0. Getty Images

Look, we're not saying it's right to beat a team 100-0 in a high school girls basketball game. But we understand why it happened, and why the coach refused to apologize for the January 13th whupping, a decision which yesterday got him fired. Though the game between parochial Dallas schools has been thrust on the national stage as a new play on morality, the truth is little is moral about sports' biggest victors. The truth is they're later applauded for piling it on. So blame The Covenant School's Micah Grimes if you want, but he's only doing what Lisa Leslie and John Heisman have already done—what, because we're talking about religion and sports here, God Himself has been known to do.

For those unfamiliar with the story: On January 13, Covenant played Dallas Academy, a lowly squad that hadn't won a game in four years. Covenant pressed from beginning to end, and shot threes whenever possible. No, it wasn't the do-unto-others-as-they-would-have-them-do-to-you thing to do, but let it be said that Covenant parents cheered well into the fourth quarter, and there was a small eruption from the crowd when the team hit 100. So they wanted this win as much as Micah Grimes did. Let it also be said that though the game took place on January 13th, Covenant officials showed little public remorse and did not look to forfeit the win until January 23rd, 10 full days after the contest and one day after the Dallas Morning News reported what happened.

It's a recent phenomenon, the remorse over winning big. Before one Michigan high school beat another 115-2, in 2003, causing school officials to actually wonder if Title IX should be in place in every school, blowouts were part of high school, just as embarrassing for some as the high school prom. Leslie is famous for scoring 101 points in the first half of a high school game. When the losing side's coach forfeited at half time, Leslie begged the coach to reconsider. And years later, she wasn't at all remorseful for her actions: "I didn't know there was anything wrong or negative about it," she said. In fact, the opposite was true. "I think it's kind of cool…because the other team quit at halftime, I think now people remember it even more. People can always guess how many points I would have had. I could have had, well, maybe 200."

John Heisman—yes, that Heisman—is also famous for beating a team 222-0 in 1916. He showed no remorse either. In fact, Cumberland College didn't even have a football team the year it played Heisman's Georgia Tech. But Heisman vowed to levy a $3,000 fine against the school if it didn't play Tech. So it did. Kind of.

So much talk has been given to Covenant doing the un-Christian thing. And no, it did not let the meek inherit the earth. But then again, Jesus' Father has been known to relish a thorough slaying on the battlefield. Before the Battle of Jericho, the Canaanites didn't want to fight Joshua and the Israelites, such was their fear of the Israelites—and God's—mighty successes in other battles. And yet when the battle is fought, Joshua and his warriors carry out God's will, killing every man and woman, and every animal, too. They didn't show anguish for piling it on that day.


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