My first reaction a decision to cancel a high school football game in the wake of the El Paso, Texas massacre was to support, if not embrace, the decision.
But then two high schools linked tragically to the slaughter of 22 victims decided to play the game. El Paso Eastwood High School played Plano Senior High School in a game hosted by the Dallas Cowboys, who let the teams play the game Thursday at their massive stadium in Arlington, Texas.
El Paso’s link to the shooting is quite obvious. Plano Senior High happens to be where the alleged gunman graduated. Thus, the linkage will bind these communities forever.
I am glad they played the game. Plano Senior High won the contest. As I watched the news video of the event this morning, though, I was struck in the heart by the fellowship and sportsmanship displayed by the student-athletes of both teams. The team members embraced prior to the game. They helped each other up during the contest. Fans from both sides cheered for the other team.
And then we saw Cowboys owner Jerry Jones greeting the El Paso Eastwood team as they entered the stadium, welcoming them to what essentially was the “home field” for their Plano Senior High opponents.
That’s why we should play these games. Sure, one team wins and the other one loses. Both communities, though, came out winners.