I’m going to preface this post by saying that I hate that I have to even write it, but I would hate more for this issue not to be addressed directly. This is totally not what I wanted to be writing about right now. I wanted to be putting together something about the results of all of yesterday’s games, and what is and is not yet known about the playoff bracket and schedule. But I can’t until I take care of this. So let’s take care of this.
In the write-up about last night’s Boston/DC game that appeared on the DC Divas’ official Facebook page, it is stated that after their 29-28 victory, Boston gathered on their side of the field and at one point chanted “Whose house? Our house!”
This is true.
It is also stated that the Boston players did this because it was the “signature chant’ of a beloved coach of the Divas who passed away this offseason, and that this was done as an intentional mockery of him and DC’s dedication of this season to his memory.
This is wrong on so many levels that it makes me sick.
Here is a key piece of information that you won’t find in that write-up: in an effort to gain an advantage on a gameday forecast to be oppressively hot and sunny, the DC Divas informed Boston that they (DC) would be wearing their white away jerseys during the game. This meant that the Militia would need to wear their (darker, heavier) home jerseys, even though they were the traveling team.
So Boston did. And they won. And after the game, when they were gathered together in the endzone celebrating the win that earned them home field in the playoffs, a player suggested that since they were wearing their home jerseys, they must be at home already. And if they were at home, it must be their house! Whose house? Their house!
Obnoxious? Yeah, maybe. An intentional insult to the memory of a beloved coach? Absurd to the point of insult.
Each of the players who talked to me about this today were a bit incredulous at learning that DC assumed the whose house/our house chant was aimed at – and as such, belonged to – one specific DC coach. You know why? ‘Cause people do it everywhere. In virtually every sport. (I don’t feel the need to prove this, but if you have the ability and inclination to do a basic search of YouTube or Google, this will become immediately apparent.)
Here’s the thing. I don’t think that that piece was written with the intent of slandering the Boston Militia. I really don’t. But if you’re going to publicly accuse someone of openly mocking your grief over a lost loved one, you better goddamn well know what you’re talking about because that is not a small thing to say about someone, and that is some big fuel to throw on a fire that should have gone out the year before you tuned in.
But it’s easier to feel intentionally wronged than it is to deal directly with a one-point defeat in a game you came minutes away from winning.
I don’t often give a damn what people I don’t know think of me or the people I care about. I just have a limited supply of damns to give, and I don’t like using them up on people I’ll never meet. But this was over the line.
Last night I was hanging out with some of the players in the hotel lobby, and the talk inevitably turned to the playoffs. Someone asked if the well-known Chicago quarterback was back on the field after an injury sustained early in the season. “What was it that happened?” someone asked. “Torn ACL?” “Hairline fracture of the ukulele,” I responded.
I will own that particular mockery, especially since I think that if you can’t handle mockery at all, you maybe shouldn’t play the ukulele. I will own that manner of mockery. I actually think that sports in general may have been developed largely as an excuse for people to talk shit, and I am happy to carry on that storied tradition. And I think a lot of shit gets said behind locker room doors and in email chains and at practice, and that is what it is and it’s pretty universal.
But this morning, in an official, public statement issued by the DC organization, the Boston Militia were accused of a viciously inappropriate form of mockery. I’m intentionally not linking to the post, by the way – I honestly, truly don’t want anything else to grow there. I want it to end there, as it never should have started in the first place. But that misinterpretation was so ugly that I couldn’t let it end for me without saying something here, in my own space, so I did. And now I’m done.