The Game Has Changed

by David Brox,

I participated in a good discussion yesterday with a couple of my high school classmates.  Conversation spawned from the following tweet.

Instead of people whining and complaining about Miege’s dominance, just beat them! That’s the mindset I come from! #sorrynotsorry

— Peyton Leslie (@SHOtimehoops) November 19, 2016

It makes simple enough sense to me on the surface.  Not everyone is going to win and accepting a loss and fighting like hell to get back and try again is sound logic to me.  It reminds me of Michael Jordan fighting tooth and nail to defeat the Detroit Pistons for years to get to the top.  Every off season working harder than the last until he finally got over the hump and dominated for years.

This is however a new age and mentality of our youth both in life and in athletics.  Michael Jordan will forever in my mind be one of the most competitive players and athletes I ever watched play any sport.  What would he do now?  Would Michael Jordan be thought of like he is today if the Detroit Pistons had picked up Magic Johnson or Patrick Ewing?  When I say new age this is the equivalent of what happens today not just in the pros but in high school.

Michael Jordan’s dominance may have been the turning point to this new partnership attempts at winning a ring.  Clyde Drexler leaving Portland to go to Houston and win a ring.  Scottie Pippen and Charles Barkley joining forces to try and win a ring.  Karl Malone and Gary Payton joining the Lakers to win a championship.  The “if you can’t beat them join them” era of sports began.

This was typically done in pairs but in 2007 when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined the Boston Celtics and Paul Pierce to win an NBA title something happened.  This is point in history where I think this tweet starts to dwindle in regards to “just beating them”.  The whole game changed at this moment in history and renders most arguments about what happened before this time moot.  Lebron James spent two more seasons in Cleveland and I have zero question he worked his tail off to get better but the world had evolved around him and “The Decision” happened.  Fast forward to 2016 where we have the last two league MVP’s on the same squad.

Now kids are taking the attitude of congregating to specific schools where they can get high level coaching and success.  Is it wrong?  No, but it flies in the face of loyalty, pride and self made hard work that the quote from Peyton is inspired from.  Kids living in one city but attending school in another.  A new age high school free agency of sorts as kids from one city school transfer to another with hope of athletic success.

With new rules comes new mentality and discussion about an even playing field and this is where I will pivot to real life.  Hard work is great but I am teaching my kids to work smarter.  Take a situation where you are in a dead end job and working hard trying to advance and you keep getting passed over.  Maybe it is that your boss doesn’t like you or discrimination of some sort.  In today’s world you expand your horizons and look for an even playing field.  Just holding on and continue beating your head against the wall is a waste of our most precious gift of time.  Work hard but always look for a means to prosper.  Play the game but play the game hard.

The discussion then took a very interesting pivot.

@OdoggBrox @SHOtimehoops Brox if miege came recruiting one of ur kids would u send them knowing the benefits

— Youngs Enterprise (@byoung01) November 19, 2016

Private school has been a topic in my house for a few years.  I have heard some incredible benefits academically but the question at hand is would I let athletics dictate the decision of where to send my kids to school.  Assuming I am still in a position to pay for it then without question I would allow my kids to go private school for athletic purposes.  That decision is made a lot easier because I have zero loyalty to Olathe and its school district.  I just live here.

I will close with this.  I do not care in the slightest about any private school.  This is a new age of people and mentality.  My point is that the classification system has failed to evolve to account for this new way of thinking.  It is not about quantity for athletics now in high school sports rather quality of athlete that are congregating at single schools and not just private ones.

Thanks to Brian and Peyton for the discussion!

Comments are welcome below.


  1. David and others great read! As a parent of a team that took a pretty good Miege beat down earlier this season, I can honestly say I never heard our coaches, parents or players either publicly or privately complain about Miege's roster/talent or their preceived ability to recruit. I did hear them express that they had to commit deeper and work harder and smarter to be the best that they could be on a daily basis. Unfortunately it sometimes takes lessons and setbacks like these to open one's eyes to what it means to be truly great. As a longtime coach I do know it can be extremely painful when an athlete or team that is perceived as good or great is exposed in a very public manner. I also know that if an athlete or team truly examines the reason they were exposed there is an opportunity for tremendous growth. But if one sets limitations by making excuses one will never prevail at the excellence one is trying to attain.

    As hard as it was to be beaten soundly, our players and coaches went to work immediately trying to identify why the loss happened. So that it hopefully doesn't occur again and that is really all you can do if you truly want to be successful.

    Miege has great coaches that have put in place a program for developing their players into the best they can be on a daily basis year round and the players have bought in(from what I can tell 100%). Not to say that other schools programs don't have similar programs in place and strive to achieve this. I just think sometimes we get a false sense of greatness, because we think we are challenged on a daily basis but we really are not. Dig deep into what Miege does on a daily basis to prepare for an opponent and make themselves the best team they can be I think you will be suprised at the level of commitment those young men make to beating fears, limitation and excuses that hold most of us back.

    I will close by saying I wish Miege the best as they chase their 3rd consectutive State Title, and I hope they continue being great. Most of all quit complaining about them. Out block them and out tackle them beacause that is really what football is about, and maybe you have a chance at beating them.

    By the way we will see you next season armed to do battle. Thanks for the lesson as painful as it was it opened our eyes and helped renew our commitment to being great. We will get out of our own way and accept the challege you lay before us, we are not afraid/scared to face you on a regular basis. #EKLexcellance #1-0 # dothework #ironsharpensiron Scott Young proud MV Jaguar parent and former USMC

  2. Mr Young, what a great response! I couldn't agree more. Coach Applebee & the Mill Valley Valley staff & administration give a shining example of how you grow yourself into a hugely successful program. It is a huge credit to the kids for buying into the #1-0 mantra & seeing the fruits of their labor year over year. Best of luck to the Jaguars in the championship game this week. Look forward to competing against you guys next year. James Clark, proud parent of a Miege STUDENT-athlete


  4. Really…come on, KSHSAA is funded by dues from Kansas schools who get their $ from Kansas taxpayers, then why are we giving KSHSAA trophies to Missouri kids, Colbert transfer from Winnetonka (MO), Armstrong lives in Lee's Summit, Homoly was a Park Hill transfer, Shane Ray was a Missouri kid, Jenkins (KU) was a Rockhurst transfer, Travis Releford was a transfer, Ashanti Hutton state record holder in track lived in Grandview before transferring back to Grandview her senior year, others Willis (KU) was a Olathe East transfer, Quanzee Johnson (Baker) was a Mill Valley transfer, Kincaid (ESU) was a SM North transfer, it goes on and on, they play 4A athletics against towns of 6000 but yet draw both sides of the state line with a reach of 2 million+, of course 5A and 6A dont want them in their divisions, if anyone argues they say they went there for a better education and religion so if that is the case then an athletic multiplier on private schools should not matter to them, but it really does is keeping the school relevant vs Aquinas and S James, they do a great job with finding potential prospects by Hoover running the Spin Academy and Grunhard working the FBU camp, then they fill up the shadow days which are really recruiting

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