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Forget Obama and the GOP for one minute: Ike Ditzenberger scores a TD for two teams at once

Technically, this item early in a new week doesn't seem to concern politics. Though it is about how people get along.

After a week that ended with Rahm Emanuel, this item is a fresh way to start the new work cycle, with an inspiring story of effort and teammates, even those on an opposing team. (Watch this video story below by KING 5's Jake Whittenberg!)

There may be a lesson in here for some of our politicians, too.

Nah, come to think of it, they won't get it. But you will.

The Snohomish (Wash.) Panthers were losing badly this weekend to visiting Lake Stevens. In fact, the Panthers had not scored one point in the high school game's first 59 minutes, 50 seconds.

But then from their own 49, ´╗┐Snohomish handed the ball to a fresh running back, Ike Ditzenberger, a 17-year-old junior who, according to some reports, works harder than any other player at practice. Ditzenberger happens to have Down syndrome.

No one is gonna remember the final score of this match (35-6). But in The Ticket's sports-loving eyes, the score makes players on both sides look like real champions.

P.S. According to Ike's mom, Kay, her son's biggest concern now is getting a date for homecoming.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Comments () | Archives (5)

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Sadly, even in this feel-good story, not everybody feels good about it. Namely the writer for the winning team's community newspaper, who won't even credit Ike Ditzenberger and his team for the touchdown. The most offensive passages, which were edited from the online edition, still made the print edition.

http://lakestevensjournal.com/school-sports/article.exm/2010-09-27_vikings_wax_snohomish_35_0_

Wow. I love this story. This person gets to score a touchdown so he feels good and the opposing team feels good and in the end we all feel good.

Poppycock. This is yet another attempt to have everyone feel good and pad self esteem.

I am so sick of my son's soccer tournaments giving out trophies to everyone including the losers; I'm tired of my daughter's teacher giving everyone the same for accomplishing less; And I'm tired of feel good bullshit like this which teaches nothing but everyone must feel good...

Hey, it's a game. First of all, games should be fun. Secondly, it doesn't hurt if we learn a lesson or two from a game. Generally, I would agree that you don't have to worry about whether everyone on each team feels good at the end of the game. In fact, sometimes the agony of defeat can be a good teacher itself.
But that's generally. There are exceptions in life. We all willingly leave handicap parking spaces for those who need and deserve them. We make a small sacrifice because it's the right thing to do. Most persons with disabilities could, with a little extra effort make it into the store or office even if they had to park further away, but who (besides the most selfish) would make an issue of that?
I don't think this is an attempt to have everyone feel good. I think this is a genuine account of decent people making a small sacrifice in an exceptional situation. Brian, on the other hand, can't even make the sacrifice of eliminating his filthy language. I'm sure his daughter is very proud. Or, maybe she's already been indoctrinated but his self-centered thinking.

Unfortunately, there are people like Brian Jones whom want to ruin a great story.That's what a few will resort to these days. I commented on what a jerk that Sports Writer (Mike Anderton) was. He should have been fired on the spot. Mr. Jones must be a miserable human being. Why else would someone make a pathetic comment about a great story, like Ike Ditzenberger's.

Teaches "nothing but everyone must feel good"? That's a pretty wonderful lesson in my book.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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