You’ve got to feel for Darien High School football coach Rob Trifone.
After the last two years of facing the Turkey Bowl under challenging circumstances, he and the Blue Wave football team are finally triumphant. Not only in beating long-time rivals New Canaan for the first time in 11 years, but also in complying with a new, stricter athletic commitment Trifone put in place without a single violation.
You’d think the team would be able to enjoy a well-earned celebration on Thanksgiving Day unmarred by yet another controversy.
Because despite the performance on and off the football field, Trifone couldn’t control the behavior of the game’s attendees.
And some of those attendees, rumored to be Darien High School alumni, well into adulthood, behaved very badly.
What kind of mind-set could motivate these few bad apples to find it acceptable to not only steal equipment from New Canaan football players, but to urinate on it?
More than one of these alleged “pranksters” urinated on a New Canaan player’s belongings. Some might say the media sensationalized the story — but an act like this deserves no less than public shaming.
The level of disrespect is not only disgusting, it is also degrading — to themselves, to this victimized New Canaan player, and to the town of Darien as a whole.
There is only so much the schools, the athletic program, town officials, and the Darien Police Department, on duty at the Turkey Bowl, can do to prevent this type of behavior.
At some point, the community needs to look at itself and make a commitment that this type of entitled, disrespectful, immature and illegal behavior needs to stop. This includes examining the culture of drinking and tail-gating at the Turkey Bowl — which some have described as excessive, and could contribute to a lack of self-control.
But self-control or not, spray-painting, stealing, or urinating on others’ property by a few bad apples, in this case, will spoil the bunch.
Darien will come to be defined by this behavior — if it hasn’t already.
Congratulations to Rob Trifone and this year’s Blue Wave team in winning the Turkey Bowl. It was a hard-earned and well-deserved win. Congratulations to New Canaan for playing a good game, and apologies for the disrespect the team was shown.
It’s truly unfortunate that a day that was to be celebrating winners, on both sides of the field, was ultimately spoiled by a handful of bad sports.