The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 25, 2013

H.S. football: Is pink the new green?


Daily Item

---- — Forgive me for straying from my usual talk about football -- well and the occasional cheerleader column -- this week.

An email I received this week from Greg Sacavage, the athletic director at Mount Carmel, reminded me of comments I read recently by an unidentified football fan in another newspaper.

This person is one in a growing list of people who know they can make outrageous comments any time, anywhere, so long as no one knows who they are.

I could get on a soapbox and rail against various media outlets allowing this to take place, as opposed to signed letters to the editor. But, how can I do that when I read them myself -- and then complain to myself about them?

The synopsis of this call-in comment to the Patriot-News of Harrisburg's Sports Fan Line was this: "The National Football League should do away with all of the pink flags, cleats and accessories, which are being used to draw attention to women's needs to get a mammogram in an effort to prevent breast cancer."

The reason, this person said: "It is taking away from the integrity of the game."

Really?

This is ludicrous on so many levels. But that last line just invites people to make their own jokes.

Ask the families of former NFL players such as Junior Seau and Andre Watters how they feel about the integrity of the NFL.

Sure, there have been arguments that other health problems, including other forms of cancer, sometimes fail to get the attention that comes with October being declared Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I get it. But let's not throw the baby away with the bath water.

Getting back to Sacavage, his email was to let the media know that, like many other high schools in a variety of sports, the Mount Carmel Red Tornadoes have designated tonight's contest versus visiting rival Selinsgrove as a Breast Cancer Awareness Night game.

Mount Carmel band members will wear pink ribbons on their uniforms and cheerleaders will wear pink attire and use pink pom poms during their routines.

In addition -- and how dare they? -- the Red Tornadoes football players will wear pink wrist bands in support of those who have been afflicted by the disease or recognition of the efforts to find a cure.

The junior varsity cheerleaders will collect donations before and during the game, with the money donated to charities supporting breast cancer awareness.

And all fans are encouraged to support their team, either team, by wearing pink.

Let's hope these activities tonight do not demean the integrity of the game.

n And there's more

Before the game, which kicks off at 7, the Mount Carmel band will hold its annual Senior Recognition Night for graduating members and their parents. Along with their parents, 20 seniors will be recognized for their participation in and service to the band.

Attending the game will be David Tice, Grand Worthy President of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Tice, who lives in Two Rivers, Wisc., is traveling the country promoting the many charities that the FOE sponsors and the community work that FOE aeries do throughout the country.

In honor of the work that is being done to combat all forms of cancer, Tice will conduct the flag-raising ceremony during the performance of the National Anthem.

n Another team honored

In keeping with its ongoing theme of paying tribute to its past, Mount Carmel will introduce members of its 1973 team which went undefeated and won the then prestigious Eastern Conference championship.

After the game, fans are invited to the Mount Carmel Area Eagles to meet the team.

Enjoy the game and, if you agree with this effort, please donate what you can.

n Sports editor Harold Raker covers high school football for The Daily Item. Email comments to hraker@dailyitem.com.