Opinion - It's still kissing your own sister ...

November 20, 2000

Opinion - It's still kissing your own sister ...

Ties are a bad joke.

No, not the ugly one you got for your father on his birthday, although I guess technically, that would qualify.

No, I'm talking about an even score on the athletic field. The one where no one wins and no one loses.

Or where no one wins and everyone loses, depending on your point of view.

No one is ever laughing after a tie. You don't see people whooping up and down or students diving over each other and a chain link fence to knock down the goalposts after a 7-7 ballgame.

No, sir, you just don't.

The Middletown girls soccer team understands this perfectly. The Knights have gone to three straight Class 2A championship games and walked out with a loss and two ties.


They've been co-champions twice. In this case, two halves don't even come close to making a whole.

"We've done all this before," senior Stef Burroughs said Saturday after the Knights' latest draw, this one a 1-1 tilt with Hereford. "I was a captain this time and thought this might be it. It didn't. I guess it's bittersweet."

Not only is it bittersweet, it's sent the MPSSAA scurrying to the engraver - again. Middletown coach John Miller walked off the UMBC Stadium turf with a trophy that said "Class 2A Finalist."

You see, they usually don't make them with "co-champ" written on them.

"This is a beautiful game," Hereford coach Steve Power said. "But this one of the un-beautiful things about it."

There are solutions. Play two more overtimes, like they do in college. Make it a war of attrition by going eight-on-eight. Use penalty kicks, which is what happens in the first four rounds of the tournament.

So what does everyone want to do? Despite all the commentary to the negative, no one seems in a big hurry to make changes.

"We've been good at (penalty kicks), but the other side of all this is losing," Miller said. "As bad as we feel, that feeling of losing is something I'd rather not experience.

"I guess it's a fair way of doing things."

Sometimes fair and right are two different things. That's the point of sports. There's a winner. And there's a loser. And that's that.

After he heard the Knights had tied, Oakland Mills boys coach Don Shea joked later that night to the press that this year's tie was out of the way - that there had only been 19 in state history, and there couldn't be two in one night.

Nineteen times they've done this? That's not funny at all.

"All the underclassmen sit there and smile, because they have a chance to come back and fix it," Power said. "All the seniors are the ones crying.

"It's not what you hoped for. ... And it doesn't compensate for not winning. The reason why we're good is we come to win. Not tie."

Dan Spears is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail.

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