Pure Sole: On the band- wagon

Get on the bandwagon Juneau.


Any bandwagon.

You don’t have to ride it the whole season.

Heck, you don’t even have to ride it the whole night. Just step on board for a play, a quarter or a period.

Imagine my surprise to see… um, to not see, a full house at the Region V wrestling championships.

Five Juneau kids heading to the state championships and, by calculation, each had an average of 1.4759 fans.

Ketchikan brought more people, not counting their team, than we had come into the gym. And, unless the Capital City kids were all home schooled, they must have a couple favorite educators interested in what they do when the books are closed.

At the local basketball games there seemed to be more people running on the court than sitting in the stands.

Seriously. Don’t be bored, get on board.

We have a basketball team that can beat any team in Alaska, another that believes it can beat any ball club in Alaska, and two more that will be beating any team in Alaska; A hockey team that went to the playoffs; The aforementioned wrestlers; A swim club breaking records; Athletes skiing, playing ping pong, jogging, running, sweating.

And this isn’t just sports I am talking about. Step on the theatrical bandwagon if that is your thing. Ride that curtain call or debate or chorus.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know.

They are not your kids.

But maybe they are your neighbors’ kids, or your colleague’s, or your bosses.

Or maybe they are your students or the teacher down the hall’s students.

Think what it would mean to a young athlete or thespian. To see an audience, a crowd, a delirious fan-base of faces both known and unknown watching.

To see parents, teachers, administrators, and peers taking an interest.

So you gave at the office.

So you dropped a few dollars into the little tin cans sitting in front of the cute little tyke wearing a sports uniform eight times bigger than where he will actually play in the game of life.

But we don’t know that.

We don’t know if they will get up tomorrow after spending the afternoon on the losing side of the scoreboard or with the referee’s hand slapping the mat next to their ear, or the ball rolling off their fingertips and out of bounds yet again and say, “I have had enough, I want to become a great speller.”

We don’t know.

What if he does go on to some great fame and glory?

Maybe then you will clamber on board that wagon, ask him for an autograph and say, ‘Hey remember me, from your home town?”

And he (or she) will readjust the Rolex, pimp the dark glasses firmly against his eyes, straighten the collar on a $2,000 Armani suit and say,

“Oh yeah, you were the fan that didn’t show up.”

So you donated. You donated the time and energy. That is nice and much appreciated.

I believe even psychologists preach that spending time with kids is just as important as spending money on them.

And another thing, those of you who didn’t attend the wrestling tourney, you missed out. They started giving away the concessions and discounting the sweatshirts.

And there was a tumbling exhibition by the coaches’ kids. It was sweet!

The thing about bandwagons… it only takes one person to change a tune.

So now, can’t you just find a little spot on the bleachers or along the field?

Or there is a spelling bee tomorrow, at Harborview Elementary School. But please, cheer quietly in that one.


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