Leaving church this morning, I walked to meet one of the area graduates who is attending a Division II college school to play football next fall. I had never met him before, but I had heard good things about his ability.
After introducing myself, I wished him good luck. As we were walking out the door, I asked him how two of his former high school teammates were doing in college football. One, he said is doing well after a position change in the spring. The other, or as he said, "The big colored guy," was a back-up on the offensive line. Yes, he said the "big colored guy."
I suggested that he probably should not use the word "colored" around his teammates next fall. Then I reminded him that this is 2012. Yes, this conversation actually took place. Sadly, the young man never apologized. Actually, I think that the comments went right over his head.
Sometimes bigger schools and "inner city" schools are considered aloof and hard to communicate with. For me, the irony is that I have a tougher time communicating with the smaller rural schools. In fact, last spring I introduced myself to a young sophomore from Marion County at an Ohio State football practice. His dad looked at me like I was selling Amway products.
Many people blow smoke up my nose about my abilities evaluating high school football players. I will be the first to tell you that I am highly over-rated. But, gosh, small schools you need more help with getting recognized than big schools. Use all of the help that you can find.
Finally, I guess nothing surprises me anymore. I have an 84 year old neighbor who sometimes says the word "colored," but an 18 year old. How sad!