Thursday, November 6, 2014

Idiots and Immeasurables

Ready for Final Jeopardy! - Thursday Edition?  

OK,  here is the Answer:

Jessica Christoffer, Kailee Kiminski and Tierney Winter (possibly the best Minnesota name EVER) .

If your question to the answer was, "Who are three women who have never been in Cliff Claven's kitchen", you shall go home (or wherever it is you go when you leave here) empty-handed.  Your answer is incorrect for two reasons, the first of which is that Cliff Claven is/was a fictional character on the TV show Cheers.  The second of which is that Cheers ceased being the place where everybody knows your name more than twenty years ago. None of these three young ladies had yet been born. 

OK, here is the correct question to the answer: 

Jessica Christoffer, Kailee Kiminski and Tierney Winter are three female student-athletes who share the honor of having been disqualified from this past weekend's Minnesota Girls' State Cross-Country Meet.  "Honor" is a word choice of deliberate design.  Here's why. 

Christoffer is a freshman at Jackson County Central High.  Kiminski is a senior at Esko High.  Winter is a junior at Janesville High.  As all three runners approached the finish line of the race, Christoffer fell.  She was approximately fifty meters (roughly one hundred and sixty feet) from completing the race when she took her spill.  

Determined to see one of their competitors finish what she started, Kiminski and Winter both stopped to help Christoffer.  They helped her off of the ground and, with their young charge secured between them, they ran with her across the finish line.   All three finished as one unit.  

Prominently featured in the video is the adult in the white knit cap and the bright orange vest who shadowed the trio across the finish line and towards other similarly-addressed adults.   Whether he was the one responsible for (a) making the decision; or (b) communicating it to Christoffer, Kiminski and Winter I  know not but I do know that meet officials informed each of the three that she had been disqualified from the face.  Kiminski and Winter were disqualified for providing assistance to another runner.  Christoffer was disqualified for accepting the assistance

Rules are important.  I get it.  I have earned my daily bread for most of my adult life in the practice of law.  I am a member of the "Color Inside the Phucking Lines" Gestapo.  However, not every rule needs to be enforced each and every time a well-meaning adult believes that it has been violated.  This is especially so when the alleged violation may be one in fact but clearly is not one in spirit.  They are teenage girls for crying out loud, not a litter of retriever puppies.  Can they not be trusted or even encouraged to exercise their own judgment - not to mention their own Goddamn humanity - to determine how best to deal with a situation then and there confronting them.? The question was rhetorical but I shall forgive you if you sat for at least a second nodding your head in agreement as you read it to yourself.   

If we believe the answer to that question is "No", then we are free of course to go about our business as "fill-in-the-blank, question-nothing/following-everything" lemmings.  We should embrace doing so with vigor if we aspire to a position of authority in the State of Minnesota's Department of Interscholastic Athletics.  Or at the very least to a position that includes a stipend for wool caps and bright orange vests.  It's phucking cold in Minnesota.  One probably goes through three or four hats per winter and who knows how many orange vests.    

Or we could instead recognize that at the point of intersection between reality and the horizon line, there better be at least a smidgen of common sense.  We need it to save us from ourselves far more often than we care to admit.       

The great Samuel Johnson once observed that, "The true measure of a Man is how he treats someone who does him absolutely no good."  On Mr. Johnson's scale, young Ms. Kiminski and the oh-so-slightly younger Ms. Winter have proven themselves to be immeasurable.  

Well done, ladies.  Well done.  


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