The Flipside to That Awful Arlington–Bloomington South Game

Update, December 14, 2012: Superstar actress/producer Vivica A. Fox has words for the girls basketball team members at her alma mater, Arlington High School, and shared them via Twitter last night: “Wow! My assnt told me about this yesterday! Come Golden Knights gurls! Time 4 more practice!! U can do it ;-)”

Yes, it was dreadful. And it’s true that Indianapolis-bred comedian Mike Epps visited the losing team this week, also tweeting his support. And yes, details seem to contradict and facts (remember those?) seem scarce about what exactly transpired at the Bloomington South vs. Indianapolis Arlington girls high-school basketball game on Dec. 11, in which the former team hammered the latter one by a 107-2 score.

For the few who haven’t heard, that’s no typo. It was indeed a Bloomington South victory by a 105-point margin.

More so, it was something of a defeat for all involved. But here’s what Indy resident Tony Dale said on RTV6’s Facebook post about the game: “That happened in a softball game with Roncalli and another HS. The coaches decided to call the game and used the rest of the time for the losing team to practice with Roncalli, run drills, etc. They found out they were really lacking in equipment and ended up forming a sister ship with this team to raise money for equipment and continued to practice with them! Now that’s sportsmanship.”

It wasn’t long before his comment was “liked” by 35 other Facebook users. It’s this one shard of goodness in the midst of a murky, lose-lose story that reminds us all—yes! sweet yes!—of a significantly more positive tale that played out two and a half short years ago here in Indy. ESPN’s Rick Reilly wrote it up, this account of Roncalli High School’s junior varsity softball team opting to take a loss against its Marshall Community foes. Roncalli was “womanhandling” the other school after all of an inning and a half—and at that point forfeited the game.

Reilly wrote then: “Yes, a team that hadn’t lost a game in 2½ years, a team that was going to win in a landslide purposely offered to declare defeat. Why? Because Roncalli wanted to spend the two hours teaching the Marshall girls how to get better, not how to get humiliated.”

Maybe the adults involved with the Bloomington South program could learn from that. But let’s be real—we all could.

There’s more: Another reason these Arlington girls should hold their heads up is that two of their high school’s alumni are Rodney Scott, who became a professional baseball player, and actress Vivica A. Fox.

Dream big, ladies.