Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pink Whistles

So by now you have probably  heard about the referees that bought pink whistles for the high school game they were officiating.    ( click here if you haven't)   Pink Pom Poms, an audience filled with pink attire and pink everywhere.  It was for the Susan G Komen cancer awareness.  There was talk of ref suspension,  the refs being docked paychecks, and the refs not being allowed to coach the remaining games due to their failure to get permission on breaking the uniform code.  I saw thousands of nasty comments on the 15 or so "media" posts.
The above ref is not part of this particular incident .
Photo credit to 

I went out and read every article and watched every video clip and was so angry that this one particular guy named "Todd" that appeared to be the crowned king of douche bag land seemed to be a cold hearted  complete idiot.
The story and derogatory video clips went viral.   But I couldn't even imagine someone involved with youth sports could achieve that level of stupidity. Nor could I see the refs actually getting punished in ANY form.

So I did what any journalist would do.  I reserved judgement and wrote the Board an email.  Here's what I sent them.
Sent: Sunday, October 24, 2010 6:11:20 PM
Subject: a moment of sanity

Dear Mr. Todd Stordahl ; ( it was CC'd to the entire board, President and Vice President)

Hello, My name is _________. I live on the Gulf of Mexico in the lovely state of _____________.  I was made aware of this story via some of my journalist friends.  I am a writer, I have also been involved in community service, local boards, youth sports and Municipal Government over my life time.  So I come to you from a point of possible open understanding of your situation.  I am aware interviews can and are often edited to skew the broadcast in one light or another.  I really hope that is what has happened to you.  I really hope that you honestly do not have the attitude and malcontent as shown in the clips I witnessed.

I am not one to jump on a bandwagon without hearing all sides and I do indeed understand the ever present need for rules and when children are involved the elevated importance of the adults setting the example.

I am not aware of all the details in this situation but instead simply what the media has "opted" to show.  Which is pretty much you appearing as a heartless rouge stealing babies candy and laughing in the face of breast cancer.  I am sure this is NOT an accurate description of the situation.

I implore you to please find a solution to this situation in which you and your refs can grow from and be projected in a positive light.

I am sure you are flooded with nasty emails, so this will not be one of them.  I have found myself in your shoes more than once facing my enforcement of a regulation that people saw me a cruel hearted witch over.  I over came them through much sacrifice.  This particular battle Todd it could literally end you.  The subject matter is so close to the heart of everyone that there is not a "proper" way to oppose it without a barrage of bullying from the very people who scream so adamantly against that behavior, yet can not see that they have become the very thing they are against.

May I suggest that you do allow these refs, whose hearts were clearly in the right place for this event to continue officiating games,  while the league itself makes a public donation and holds a press conference to "mend" the public image.  In addition dedicate a " special game"  towards this event 1 time a year, where the game may have pink cleats, a pink ball, and pink whistles.  Bring the pink ball to the conference.  As you know we are more than what we are perceived as, yet we all live as we are perceived. Not only will the national spot light view your board as wonderful supporters but it will give a chance for your players and board to be seen and set a precedent as a community that cares. 

Too many people have been touched by breast cancer, and the very fact that men are involved in a health situation that claims, wifes, mothers, daughter, sisters, teachers can not be over looked, and should be rewarded not punished.

In Government there was always an expression I would like to share with you as it may shed some light on the refs thinking.  " If you believe something to be right and morally upstanding, it is better to ask for forgiveness then fill out the paperwork for permission"

I hope that in the sea of email you receive that this one will let you know, there is some damage control and bridges that need attention.

The main issues needed to be handled with your press and it's affiliates.  However I do offer you an unedited 2 paragraph explanation and resolution that I will publish to my readers, as I refuse to join the popular bandwagon and immediately throw people under the bus due to 1 sided reports.

Best of Luck 

In less than 24 hours I had a response form the board. You will probably never see their honest view point on the internet,  so before you jump on bandwagons I want you to see their response.

Thank you for your comments.  
The Washington Officials Association is completely in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and many other worthy causes.  We sincerely regret that the media coverage has given a different impression.  The media has not accurately reported the entire story.  The issue at hand is not about wearing pink whistles at a football game.  The WOA has not and will not suspend, reprimand, or take game checks away from any officials for wearing pink whistles.  The WOA has a process for reviewing decisions made by our commissioner and our member associations.  That process will be followed and all affected parties will have an opportunity to present their side of the story.  We only ask that you reserve judgment until you hear the complete story not just what you see and hear in the media.


Vice President
WOA Executive Board
This is the response I am sending to the many emails I have received.  I want to thank you for not letting the emotions of this situation overshadow the possibility that the media reports are wrong.  As you stated, the media reports to get ratings not to expose the truth.  You will probably never hear about it, but the truth is not very interesting.  In fact, several news outlets heard the whole story and decided not report on it.  A few decided they could find an interesting angle.  That is what has now gone viral.  Thanks for your consideration and well thought out comments.


It's so easy in todays world, to see something, for it to go viral, for a view to be skewed.  Out of instinct we slam our fingers down on the keyboard with our knee jerk fight for fairness and without all the details join a virtual lynch mob.  I ask you, educated, dedicated, and good hearted readers.  Use snopes, get your news from more than 1 source and when possible directly contact those involved to hear all sides before sending a package of dog poop to the Evil person  or furthering the misinformation.  I am still out on this situation and until I see what happens and actually discover the truth for myself I wont be acting or speaking against either side.



Marti said...

Thanks for researching and posting. I am sharing this. Burns my ass when folks get carried away without checking (like all those urban legends/virus hoax emails we all get).

ThePeachy1 said...

Thanks Marti. I was so furious when I saw this all over the internet, I wanted to just smack anyone who would punish people for supporting this cause. Then in a brief moment of sanity washed over me and I realized there MUST be more to this story. So I went straight to the source. I still am not sure where I will fall until I get more details. But if there's a need to join the mob with pitch forks I will be in the pack. Until then I wait for more information.

Oilfield Trash said...

Another fine example of the media not doing it's job.

ThePeachy1 said...

Yep, can't even call them journalist anymore. They simply spin their view/agenda/ratings grabber. There is no more integrity in media. I wish they would all simply step aside and offer news, the way it used to be, honest and unbiased.