Banks County Opinions...

August 16, 2000

By Drew Brantley
The Banks County News
August 16, 2000

Why is there no girls' football?
Women can do what ever they want. Times have rightly changed. Women serve in the military, politics and in the home. They choose what they want to do as at no other time in history.
In sports, women have not only made their marks on the field, but in the announcer's booths and media telecasts. The face of sports on television now definitely includes men and women.
Women will compete in the pole vault next month at the Olympics in Sydney. Women have been racing for years. Boxing and ice hockey have recently become sports for women as well. The Silver Bullets, an all-female team, played baseball for several years.
One question still remains, however.
Why is there no women's tackle football?
Plenty of women enjoy watching football. They understand the game. They follow the game. Some of them report on the game. But they do not play the game.
Sure, a few girls here and there have played football on the boys' team. Most of the time, they are kickers. Middle Georgia College has one right now.
But what is it about football that has kept females from demanding to play?
The fact that very few girls play tackle football at young ages has something to do with it, surely. If girls have never played the game, they are less likely to start playing. But at the very least, it seems like girls should be playing competitive flag football.
The stereotype of girls says they don't want to get dirty or hit each other.
Some women follow football religiously. They know stats, trends and history. They play in their back yards with brothers and neighbors. Those interests would seem to provide the necessary drive to play.
As for the stereotype for what girls should do, the other activities like boxing would seem to say that some women don't mind a little contact.
Plenty of girls get dirty on a softball field. Plenty more get bloodied noses and scrapes on the basketball floor or track.
So why not girls' football?
The only answer left that makes logical sense is that women just don't want to play.
And that is unfortunate.
If there were girls' football in high school and women's football in college, sports participation would be about even everywhere. Title IX would not be much of a concern anymore.
It would also be one more thing that made sense to me, for whatever that's worth.
Drew Brantley is the sports editor for The Commerce News and The Banks County News.

The Banks County News
August 16, 2000

Parents need to take active role in schools
Excitement is in the air as children and parents get ready for another school year. Youngsters through teenagers will be in class Friday full of anticipation, and perhaps a little fear, about the new year.
Parents can make the transition for their children returning to school easier by being as involved as possible. Parents need to meet with teachers on a regular basis, encourage their children to do homework and projects early and make sure their child gets the proper rest and nutrition in order to function.
Parents can also help their child by reading to them and listening to them read. Adults also need to pick up a book and read themselves in order to be a positive role model for their child. A child who sees Mom and Dad picking up the Bible, a newspaper or a book to read will learn the importance of reading. Adults and children need to make time for reading every day­even if it is only for 15 minutes before going to bed each night. It will make a world of difference.

By Adam Fouche
The Banks County News
August 16, 2000

Voters should be ashamed of turnout
Every other week, I sit in front of my computer and I write a column expressing my views, opinions and thoughts. I do this because I enjoy it and because it is a right I have as a citizen of this great nation.
And many of you out there take every opportunity you can to say whatever you want and express your own personal views. You can do that; it's your right. And, it's a valuable right that many people have died to preserve.
However, it isn't your only right.
As an American, you have the right to a fair justice system and to choose your own religion and to bear arms. But there is one right, a very important one, that many of you neglect and often throw to the curb-your right to vote.
The voter turnout for the recent primaries and run-offs were pitiful at best. It seems many of you just forgot-not forgot to vote, but forgot about one of your duties as an American and the debt you owe to everyone who has given a piece of their lives to let you live in freedom.
Banks County citizens put up the highest voter turnout of our three counties. They sent nearly 50 percent of registered voters to the polls in the primaries and 25 percent to the polls for the run-off.
In Jackson County, only 28 percent of registered voters cared enough to make a five-minute stop at the polls in their district for the primaries. Roughly half that many, or 15 percent, showed up for the run-off, which included the deciding race for chairman of the board of commissioners.
But in Madison County, a dismal 21 percent of the county's registered voters thought enough of their right as an American to go vote. Fourteen percent of the voters then returned last week for the run-off.
You may not think so, but your decision not to vote could be a costly one indeed.
Extremists, radicals and communists (yes, I said communists) feed on your apathy, ignorance and laziness. They know that all they have to do is mobilize several hundred supporters and they'll elect whomever they choose. But you, the apathetic one, will be left to suffer the consequences of their actions as a governmental board. And you will no doubt curse them and write letters to your newspaper about them and announce your hatred of them. Where were you on election day when your voice mattered? The people in office seem important to you now; why weren't they important from the very beginning?
It doesn't do any good to complain after the fact, especially if you didn't think enough of the system to participate.
What has happened in America that has caused apathy to take over? I know you don't care, I just don't know why.
But I challenge all you registered voters who chose not to go vote last month. I challenge you to call someone you know who fought in our armed services. I challenge you to call the children and the widow of a soldier killed while defending your rights.
Tell them you don't care. Tell them the loss of their loved one means nothing to you. Tell all the grieving mothers and fathers that their sacrifice wasn't enough for you. Let them know that you don't think enough of your right as an American to participate in the voting process.
And if you don't want to vote, stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Stop flying the flag above your business. Stop having pride in your country. Stop being an American.
Actually, you don't have to do any of that stuff. I think you already have.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers. His email address is

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