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Further update on the 100-0 game January 27, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in Basketball, Religion.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It seems the 100-0 game between Covenant and Dallas Academy has caused an international media storm.  Some people agree with those who say that it was bad form to run up the score against a helpless team of girls with learning difficulties.  Others (like myself) have expressed outrage at Coach Micah Grimes’ sacking for trying to teach his team how to compete hard (and Covenant apparently trying to forfeit the game).

It’s only natural that there are 2 sides to every story.

Follow this link to Coach Grimes’ personal account of what REALLY happened.  There are also quotes from girls on the team.  On the other hand, there are plenty of articles such as this one that put gloss on the loss for Dallas Academy while at the same time implying what Covenant did was reprehensible.

I think there’s a couple of things that can be taken from what’s been said.

First, getting absolutely trounced in a basketball game (where there is no mercy rule) happens just about every day – some teams are just that much better than others even if they are in the same division.  As pointed out by Coach Grimes, they’ve lost almost just as badly before.  Plenty of teams have lost by more than a hundred points in a single game.  That’s just the way it is.  It’s a little unfair to single this game out as an anomaly.  Perhaps it was the perfect 100 and the big zero that made this one stand out.

Second, it’s unfair to point out that Dallas Academy is a small school and that the girls have learning difficulties.  I don’t think the Dallas Academy girls would want anyone to make that an excuse for them.  I don’t complain when we lose because the other team had 7-footers and supreme athletes and we are short and slow.  Rather, they should be commended for continuing to play and competing despite never having won a game.  Besides, Covenant is not a big school either with only 8 players, and some of those girls noted that they have learning difficulties too.

Thirdly, if you look at the box score, Covenant only scored 12 points in the 4th quarter.  Apparently they also did not score in the last 4 minutes of the game.  For a team that scored 88 in the first 3 quarters, you can hardly say that they continued to intentionally run up the score.  This casts doubt on some of the reports which say that they did.  Also, saying that shooting 3-pointers equates to trying to run up the score is wrong.  It is obvious that this team could have scored easily on lay-ups and close-range shots whenever they wanted.  Unless you are a 3 point specialist (like myself), attempting the much more difficult 3-point shot actually slows the scoring down when you can pour in 2-pointers with ease all night long.  The only other option would have been to just not attempt any shots at all or, even better, score baskets for the other team – now that would be a great lesson for the kids.

Lastly, the most irritating thing out of all this has to be the unnecessary Christian angle that has been thrown in the mix.   Say what you want about how the game should have been played, but to say what happened was “un-Christian”, especially to these obviously extremely religious people, is a very low blow.


1. Mike - January 27, 2009

Good job explaining why this was a fine example of sportsmanship…makes me want to see 100-0 blowouts all the time now. Get serious. I have been a coach with kids for about 15 years…from your point here, you would condone having batters swing for the fence in a 15-0 game because it is harder to hit a HR than a single….silly rabbit –

pacejmiller - January 27, 2009

Hi Mike – thanks for the comment, but I think you completely missed the point on my 3-pointer argument. I’m not condoning anything. I’m just saying as a matter of FACT, throwing up 3 pointers with a small chance of making them will slow your scoring down more than going for the high percentage, 2 point lay-up on every possession.

In any case I think a baseball analogy is slightly different as there’s a shot clock in basketball and there isn’t a mercy rule either – so if you don’t shoot the ball, you’re essentially just giving the ball back to the opponent. Covenant was up 35-0 at the end of the first quarter and would have won handily without scoring another basket (actually they would’ve won after the first basket). If you were the coach, would you have instructed them not to attempt another shot for the rest of the game? Just keep incurring shot clock violations and hand the ball back to your opponent and don’t guard them so they can try and make the score more respectable? Where’s the sportsmanship and honor in that? I wouldn’t be very happy if my opponent just kept doing that – it would be more humiliating and demoralizing to see that they’re taking that much pity on me. But that’s just me.

Let’s just say for the sake of argument that your baseball analogy works. Okay, imagine this: your team is up 15-0 in the first inning and there’s no mercy rule – you just have to play until the end of the 9th. What do you do if the opponent just can’t get the ball in the strike zone, even if you don’t swing – so they’ll just keep walking your players and you’ll earn more runs. Do you tell your players to do nothing? Keep bunting the ball back and not try and make base so they can get out? Do you tell your players to purposely let the other team score to make it more respectable? It’s an exaggeration but I hope you can see that Coach Grimes was not faced with an easy decision – and it’s a bit harsh to say he should be sacked because he decided to keep playing.

2. Charlie - January 28, 2009

In high school athletics there are schools within districts who are far inferior than others athletically but who still must play eachother. The team that was defeated has not won a game in 5 years and only has 20 students in the entire school. The winning coach knew that this game would be a blowout even if she took the opportunity to to seat the starters and give others some game experience. All of the opportunities missed probably equate to how much she will miss her job. Another example of a Texan who thought they would teach someone a lesson and ended up being schooled.

3. Matthew Ho - January 28, 2009

i dont know the full story of what happened and to be honest i dont really care to find out now – it will blow over.

let me take it from another angle, if it was the NBA do u think they would have kept going? no. when the coaches see that its going to be a blow out, they empty out the bench and bring on the scrubs like Scalabrine.

However, losing team were that bad – you can’t exactly help them score if they can’t shoot at all or have no fundamentals. If the other school wanted to help now, it would be more of a gesture to train with them and teach them how to play the game. I think that’s the best way to get better.

On a sidenote, I heard that Mark Cuban offered the losing team to come watch the Mavs play. I thought that was a class move from someone that’s just be killed by everyone over JR Smith-gate.

4. pacejmiller - January 28, 2009

Hey mate – Covenant only had 8 players, so they pretty much emptied out the bench. Apparently they were 14-17 or something and lost by like 70+ points themselves last year. So they’re not the powerhouse people are painting them out to be. I guess it also shows that Dallas Academy needs a bit of work.

By the way, don’t be so harsh on Scalabrine – the Pacers could use another big man right now.

Mark Cuban – nice gesture, but that guy has way too much time on his hands. What happened to the insider trading accusations?

5. Matthew Ho - January 28, 2009

saw the best comment on cuban in slam magazine – u can’t accuse him of insider trading when he traded jason kidd 4 devin harris

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