View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 9/26

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: September 26, 2012 - 10:11 AM

Football is a sport that from a distance is played by people who don’t like each other. If you really liked someone would you try to hit them as hard as you could?
The players sometimes look as if they would rather step on someone than help them up. Then you take a look at the coaches and they may look like they are ready to meet in the middle of the field and throw down MMA style.
It’s a tough physical game and some need anger to play or coach. At the same time these are passionate people who care deeply about the sport and those who are a part of it. You see that when any type of tragedy hits the sport.
Over the last few years high school football has seen its fair share of tragedies. There was the death of Nathan Stiles after sustaining a hit during a game. There was the McLouth player who lost a leg after breaking it during a game.
Every year there are stories of personal loss by players, coaches and fans and the football community comes together to help out its own.
At the same time you don’t have to go too far to see the football community help out other good causes. There are food drives, breast cancer awareness games and other fundraisers that help out the surrounding community.
It’s not just in the community the help is given. Every year there are mission trips and other things done by football players from around the Metro. I know there is a group of players from Blue Springs High School that go to Central America each summer to help communities there.
I’m not saying that football is special or different than other sports. There are plenty of great things done by groups in every sport from every school around the Metro but what we know and work with every day is football and that is what stands out to me.
One of the main reasons football in the Metro is so strong and successful on and off the field is the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association. The group works year-round to help promote football and help those involved in many ways.
Just last year after the Joplin tornado the GKCFCA donated all of the proceeds from the Country Mart Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game to the Joplin High School football program. The all-star game is the largest fundraiser the GKCFCA does every year and it didn’t take a second for it to give that money to a town and football program in need.
Football is a violent sport that sometimes channels anger and aggression into very violent outcomes. At the same time the people involved with this sport at the high school level are some of the most compassionate, thoughtful people in the Metro.
We are all football fans and we are all better for the people who give their time and effort to make the sport and the surrounding community better. For that I say thank you.