Editorial: What is pride? It costs nothing. It’s free, but it’s not easy

What is pride?

It costs nothing in money. Anyone can have it. They just have to self-reflect, establish principles and live by those principles at all cost. It’s free, but isn’t easy.

Certainly for as long as there has been man, there has been pride in oneself and what one represents. Pride in a family name, pride in a culture, pride in our record, pride in our town, state and country borders.

Pride is taking stock in what belongs to us — something that we or our ancestors have fought hard for and is now bequeathed upon us to maintain.

Such is the foundation of the rivalry between New Canaan and Darien football teams.

It is easy to dismiss football as just a game. But in Darien especially — it’s not just a game — it’s a tradition steeped in loyalty, pride, family, friendship, strength and camaraderie. It’s a chance for us to bond and forget the rest, so we can remember the best.

However, this year the Turkey Bowl was marred with a rivalry gone wrong.

Again.

There are many swirls and rumors around the arrests of at least two of Darien’s biggest football stars last Wednesday evening, the night before ‘“The Big Game.”

This left the team without at least two (and three with another starter sitting out) on Thursday morning and to the Blue Wave’s first loss in more than three years.

Despite the questions raised surrounding circumstances of this incident and arrest, and the timing, the bottom line is that certain facts are documented by New Canaan Police.

There was a violent incident at a home in New Canaan that involved at least one, if not more, Darien students

There is no comment on whether the incident was Turkey Bowl-related, officially. But given the circumstances, it’s not a far leap to assume.

So instead of many families looking forward eagerly to a fun family tradition, social media was astir over what exactly happened and why, and the repeated question — “Will they play?”

Citing FERPA, school officials released a statement but did not comment on the status of the players or discipline.

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and is a federal law that was enacted in 1974. FERPA protects the privacy of student education records.

Let’s be clear, regardless of any other circumstances, the Darien students were wrong to engage in any kind of violent response if what police allege is proven in court. And it isn’t the first time that the Turkey Bowl rivalry has resulted in unfortunate headlines and an embarrassing portrayal of Darien.

Nothing is wrong with a rivalry. Nothing is wrong with approaching competition with fervor and striving for excellence. It should be celebrated, especially on a family holiday like Thanksgiving.

We as a community can’t control what our surrounding towns do.

What we can do is make sure our efforts to defend Blue Wave pride, in any form, never fall short of making our residents, families, school and community proud.

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  • Dear Leader

    Right message. Wrong town, wrong sport, and apparently the wrong kids and parents.

  • John Sini

    u201cDear Leader,u201d what exactly do you have to gain from spouting your ongoing comments from the cheap seats of anonymity? If these anonymous comments make you feel better, I wish you much goodwill as you must have a very shallow, depressing life.nnMore importantly, I can assure the entire program and district is troubled by the alleged actions of a few. As a result of the alleged actions before and after the game, our two communities should take a deep look at the intensity of the rivalry that is formed from a very young age, among players, parents of all youth and student sports. This is a real opportunity for all of us to take an introspective look at the culture of the rivalry, and the individual town pride that has been associated with it.

    • Dear Leader

      I doubt that the anonymous comments of a shallow, depressed reader would burrow so deeply under your skin if there were no truth to them. Sorry to trigger you, as the kids say.

      • Commissioner

        Disgruntled bitter man, whou2019s probably paying tuition at a private school solely to get his kid playing time.

        • Dear Leader

          Neither. I just think that as a culture, not just a school or a zip code, we are often too willing to give people a pass for demonstrably bad behavior. We do it with adults (see Harvey Weinstein, etc.) and we do it with kids. Iu2019ll bet you would both agree with that, because you’re both pretty sensible. I don’t know the kids involved in the local swirl, so I have no reason or right to judge them or their parents, for sure. But what I read and hear is dismaying to me, and part of what I see as a bigger pattern and issue. My apologies if my delivery is unnecessarily provocative. I spend too much time reading the news.

          • Commissioner

            Weinstein! Stretch. The kids and young men are being held accountable by the law. No one has said they shouldnu2019t be if guilty.nnThere is an underlying resentment here in your and others that Iu2019ve not noticed before. I think itu2019s both petty and sad. Teach a lesson. Enforce appropriate consequences if guilty. There is no entitlement here. There were bad decisions. nnAnd why arenu2019t you or anyone asking about the NC kid who posted a picture of two guns on social media with the quote u201cHow many should I load in my glocks for you?u201d I would think that would raise the eyebrows of federal, let alone local law enforcement.

          • blow-hard-jonny

            Good points comish. This is a he said she said situation where NC kids were supposedly drinking. Nobody is “innocent” in a sense. Nobody should be waxing poetic about morals and values, not “Deal leader” or John Sini. Neither can speak for the towns as a whole. Raising money for turf and lights doesnt entitle you to speak for the “entire program and district.” As comish implied, lets let the results of the court case show what actually happened.

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