Banks County Opinions...

October 11, 2000

By Drew Brantley
The Banks County News
October 11, 2000

'Titans' veers from reality
Hobbies cost money. Pastimes are free, or so I have heard. But I have a hobby that was passed down.
My mother grew up in East Point, a city in Fulton County. She used to tell me stories about how, as a child, she would ride the trolley in downtown Atlanta to the wonders that the city offered.
In addition to just being a part of the electricity of the state's capital, she also used to talk about going to matinee movies. She passed her love of film watching down to me. As movies are not free, I suppose that they must be classified as a hobby.
Whatever their classification, I have enjoyed watching movies. Even now, my mother and I will talk about what movies we have seen. During a recent phone conversation, I talked with my mother about a recent football film release, "Remember The Titans."
My mother and I have a code that we live by. If one of us has not seen a movie, we do not talk about any plot points that are not revealed in the first 10 minutes of the film. We can make vague comments about whether the movie is good, bad, believable or exceptional. Since she had not seen the Titan movie, I did not reveal too much. Though you are not blood kin, I will extend the you the same courtesy.
Set in 1971 Alexandria, Va., during integration, racial tensions and high school football collide for a story of trial, triumph, tragedy and touchdowns.
(I must say that I am proud of that description. I think it would fit nicely on the back of the videotape or DVD.)
When I saw the first preview for this movie some months ago, I decided that I would not watch it. I thought that too much was revealed in the trailer. It seems that Hollywood cares nothing for the code my mother and I share. Most previews seem to tell the whole story.
But on the weekend that the movie was released, I saw a special on ESPN about the real-life story upon which the film is based. It turns out that the school featured in the movie is one that was covered by a newspaper that I used to work for. That changed my mind completely. I had to see this film. I am glad I did. It is a little sappy. Things work out a little too nicely in some instances. But it is still quite enjoyable.
In general, I like sports movies. But almost all of them have some problems when they deal with the reality of the sport. A few movies get it right on. The "Titans" is pretty close.
I recently saw "Varsity Blues" on cable. I had a lot of problems with the football action. There are several technical problems that should have been caught by whatever football adviser the movie had.
"The Titans" had only a few problems. At one point during a game sequence, actor Denzel Washington, playing the part of the head coach, tells his quarterback to run the inside veer.
Executed well, the inside veer can expose a defense with a triple option starting with the fullback dive and continuing to a run-pitch option between the quarterback and halfback.
What is not, is a drop-back pass. Yet this is what the Titan quarterback does. Now I am sure that I was one of the five percent of viewers who was aware of this glitch. It did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the film. And if you forget that I revealed it here, you probably won't notice it.
Drew Brantley is the sports editor for The Commerce News and The Banks County News.

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By Angie Gary
The Banks County News
October 11, 2000

What WOULD Jesus Do?
While covering a meeting on domestic violence, I had the opportunity to talk with some of the members of the task force. In talking with them, I came to understand how hard it is for the general population to comprehend how it is that a woman would remain in a dangerous situation at her own risk and that of her children, with a man who beats them and torments them.
Yes, it's a hard concept to believe. And unfortunately, one that has kept the organization from finding adequate funding for shelters, food, clothing and training for these women and their families.
One member brought up, with great concern on her face, the question as to why don't the churches give to worthy charities like Peace Place. She could not understand why it is that a church will send thousands of dollars abroad to help children, but refuse to help those in their own back yard.
Well, I have to admit, I had no answer. That same question has been on my mind for a few years now.
Not long ago, I worked and volunteered at a pre-school for children with and without disabilities, called Challenged Child and Friends, Inc. in Gainesville. Part of my job was to help raise funds, for both the operating budget and the new school that had to built.
CC & F had a waiting list for children who needed the special care that was only available there. On staff are special education teachers, therapists, nurses, a family counselor: every service a child with special needs could want. The new school would provide the space needed to place them in a classroom sooner. After all, it was now documented through numerous studies that the sooner a child receives intervention, the better chance the child has to develop strengths and work on weaknesses. The better chance he or she has of being mainstreamed into the regular school system. The better chance for becoming a productive citizen within our communities and not a burden to society.
A worthy cause, we all thought!
We applied to numerous foundations, corporate giving programs, civic organizations trying to raise the $1.5 million needed to build the new school.
In the process, we approached several churches with huge congregations, thinking we would be a charity any church would be proud to involved with. It was a rude awakening, and a sobering acceptance.
No, children with disabilities living just down the way did not meet the criteria of most of the churches' missions. The money had to be spent to bring the word of God and the teachings of Jesus to the less fortunate in other countries. Couldn't help here in their own communities. Couldn't take up a "Special Love Offering." Couldn't hold a special dinner or barbecue. Nope, just could not help in any way. Not a dime, not a penny.
That same "other country" condition is being used to refuse many worthy causes in our towns and in our county.
Not even battered and abused women and children are considered for financial help in bettering their lives from the religious community. I don't understand it and I never will.
Maybe helping kids at home here just isn't exotic enough. Not grand enough in the scheme of things. Maybe the church's pride in saying they helped this village in Africa counts more in the grand plan of getting and keeping members of the congregation.
It makes me wonder about Christians' commitment and beliefs. What happened to "Love Thy Neighbor"? I ask them, "What WOULD Jesus do?"
Shar Porier is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.

The Banks County News
October 11, 2000

Shining a light on domestic violence
The pages of this newspaper are filled with reports of domestic violence each week. Women are physically and mentally abused by their husbands. Parents are hurt at the hands of their children. Brothers fight with brothers, sisters hit sisters. It can be a never-ending cycle.
One way to stop this problem is to bring attention to it. Those who are abused need to come forward. Their friends and neighbors need to offer support to them in this time, which is scary and even embarrassing to some victims.
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is observed throughout October to bring attention to the problem. Everyone needs to get involved in this effort. One way to do so here in Banks County is by supporting Peace Place, a shelter for victims of domestic violence. District attorney Tim Madison's office has been a part of this effort and can direct those interested in helping.
The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233 Fax: (706) 367-8056

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