The Hypocrite and Frankenstein’s Monster


In a recent blog post, Nancy Flanagan stoked the flames of debate by questioning the role of competitive athletics in schools.   Beware, sacred cow.  However, in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I believe the following:

 Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Steve Nash.  Or something like that.

The films The Natural, Slapshot, and Rocky were unfairly excluded from the best documentary category at the Academy Awards.

The mysterious shimmering gold light coming from the suitcase in Pulp Fiction was from Tom Brady’s Super Bowl Rings, which John Travolta stole because he is a Colts fan.  

Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 Days and 40 Nights by a member of the Detroit Red Wings.  I’m not sure which one, but does it really matter?  Red.  Enough said.

In short, I live and breathe competitive sports.  Whether it’s watching or playing, I’m all in.  Further, I’m a bit of a fitness junkie. So what I am about to say is contrary to my nature, however, personal preference be damned.

Or, I’m just bitter because I could never dunk.

I too question what role sports should play in our education system.  We often complain about the proliferation of caste systems in high schools, yet we fully endorse any hierarchies that are linked to athletics.  Big-time football player?  Leg up.  Basketball player, too?  Two legs up.  Three sport athlete?

Well, you get the picture.

Isn’t it ironic, however, that when these players exit our school systems, we often lampoon them for inflated egos?  And, my fingerprints are all over the air pump.  But, I didn’t do it alone, and I’m reasonably confident that if anyone had treated me like a Theseus through college, I would have had a hard time adapting, too.  In short, it’s hypocrisy; much like with entertainment celebrities, we create idols, just to revel in their dismantling.

They, like the institutions that house them, are our own creations.

As you have likely noticed, controversies abound.  Penn State, USC, Ohio State, and a slew of high schools across the country have become our own Frankensteins.  Yet, I marvel at our ability to multi-task.  As our monster rests on the table, it takes real talent to put one hand on the life-giving electrical lever, and another on the pitchfork and torch, wouldn’t you agree?

It’s alive, indeed.

And with that, this hypocrite must sign off.  My beloved Phoenix Coyotes drop the puck in ten minutes, Sports Center is starting, and I’ve got a football pool to manage.


Mike Lee

Mike Lee

Phoenix, Arizona

I am the Director of Outreach and Engagement for The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and certified as a Middle Childhood Generalist in 2004. In 2012, I received my doctorate in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University, however, I began my work in education serving as a para-educator in a special education program while still an undergraduate. My passions in the field include assessment and reporting strategies, the evolving role of technology, teacher leadership, and effective professional development that permanently impacts instruction. I consider myself a professional teacher first, as well as a professionally evolving lifelong learner, who is incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to impact the lives of children.

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