December 6, 2012

GARY HAWKINS: Throwing kids under the bus

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

A few thoughts while making my list and checking it twice.

• The discussion of the nominees for this year's Fitzpatrick Trophy had run its course and I was more than willing to let it go until committee chairman Jack Dawson spoke this week in an interview with WCSH-TV sportscaster Lee Goldberg.

Dawson was questioned about the award's criteria, validity, possible provincialism and the makeup of the selection committee. Dawson said the award is based on 40 percent grades, 40 percent football ability and 20 percent character. The cover letter sent to coaches this year, and presumably in the past, states otherwise. The criteria is listed as 70 percent football ability, 30 percent grades and 10 percent character.

When the apparent snub of Mt. Blue quarterback Jordan Whitney was raised, Dawson intimated his grades weren't good enough to make the list of 12 finalists. Dawson said there were a couple of players who didn't make the list -- there were only two and Whitney was one of them -- who were great football players "but the transcripts would be conspicuous in comparison to the other candidates."

Sorry, Mr. Dawson, but suggesting a particular high school kid didn't make the list because of poor grades is way out of bounds. For the record, Whitney has made high honors and honors at Mt. Blue in the past and his overall grade point average is 82, according to his coach Gary Parlin.

Dawson also said "the first eliminator is the transcript of grades." Then why does it only count 30 percent? Sounds to me like you and the committee are just covering your butts after making a mistake. I know you're better than that.

• When the 12 semifinalists for the Fitzpatrick Award were announced, Dawson trumpeted the fact that three linemen were nominated. I wish them well but only one lineman, Lewiston's Jerry Raymond in 1978, has won in the 42 year history of the award. That's why the Frank J. Graziano Award was established a couple of years ago in Maine, to honor the top offensive and defensive linemen in the state. Maybe establishing one's own award is what it takes to avoid getting snubbed.

• Look, Bob Costas can be a little grating at times. He talks too much and comes off as the smartest man in the room. But I've got a problem with those who objected to his editorial comments about the Jovan Belcher murder/suicide at halftime of Sunday night's NFL game.

I won't debate the merits of his arguments for gun control, just his ability to state them. Nearly every single opinion I've read or person I've spoken with has been on the other side of the argument. Yet all of them swear this wasn't the right forum. Wonder what they would have said if Costas had come out in favor of their side.

Let's face it, Costas isn't an idiot for speaking out, he's an idiot for not agreeing with you.

• The Jovan Belcher incident presents a good opportunity for the NFL to address its domestic violence problem, not only for the good of the league and its players and potential victims but to set a proper example. Right now the example is very negative.

• I would love to be watching NHL hockey right now, but I can live without it. These folks are shooting themselves in the skates. Wake me when the lockout is over.

• If the Celtics need an enforcer, they should go out and get one, if for no other reason than to keep Rajon Rondo on the floor and off the suspended list.

• I like a lot of the moves the Red Sox have made so far, the best being John Farrell as manager and Mike Napoli at first base. But none of them -- Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino, David Ross -- have brought me out of my chair. Are we headed for another bridge year? So far it looks that way. Still waiting for that big deal, that pitcher(s) that will put them back into contention.

Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638

ghawkins@centralmaine.com

 

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