“What we have here is failure to communicate.”
— Strother Martin, as the chain-gang captain in “Cool Hand Luke.”
— — —
And that’s what we still have today, only the subject is high school sports instead of southern chain gangs.
It’s strange, too, because there are more ways to communicate now than ever before.
Don’t want to pick up the phone in your house? Use the ubiquitous cell.
Don’t want to actually talk to a person? Text them. Unless you’re driving, of course.
Don’t have unlimited texting? Send an email.
Are you a social-media maven? Send a message on Facebook or Twitter.
Are you extremely tech savvy? Meet on Skype.
If you’re too old-school for any of that, you can always put pen to paper, put paper inside an envelope and mail an actual letter. Unless — come August — it happens to be Saturday.
So why — with so many ways to communicate — is there such a disconnect?
It’s simple. We don’t want to connect with others unless they share our views.
What else can you make of the increasing clamor for separate postseason tournaments for public and private high schools in Ohio?
I’ve gone on record against such a divorce. No good will come of it.
But now the animosity has trickled into regular-season events, with the news last week that Canfield will no longer schedule games against Cardinal Mooney.
The rivalry will end once all current contracts have been honored.
Canfield is taking its ball and going home.
Why? Good question. I planned to ask Canfield Superintendent Alex Geordan, but he did not return a voice message I left on Tuesday night.
Failure to communicate.
It’s probably related to the R-word — recruiting. It’s the default accusation when public schools have a beef with private schools.
Or the other R-word — relocation. Cardinal Mooney is reportedly looking at sites in southern Mahoning County on which to move its campus.
If it’s about alleged recruiting, hasn’t open enrollment leveled the playing field to an extent?
Canfield isn’t the first school to draw a line in the sand. Poland stopped scheduling Cardinal Mooney in all but a few Olympic sports a few years ago.
In Trumbull County, Niles and Warren JFK are separated by less than three miles, but the planet apparently will spin off its axis if the Red Dragons and Eagles were to play.
Forget football, basketball or baseball. These schools won’t even play checkers. Hide-and-seek is out, too. But hiding from each is something they do well.
Twenty years ago, several schools in a conference with Warren JFK dropped out and formed a new league without the Eagles.
Failure to communicate.
Now Canfield is hiding from Cardinal Mooney.
“I know that it’s not the coaches who don’t want to play,” Cardinal Mooney boys basketball coach Brian Danilov said. “I’d like to know the reason why and I wish that someone would come out and give me the straight reason, not some back-door, politically correct answer.
“I know that there are a lot of people in Canfield that would want us to continue playing and I know that our people want to play.”