Considering what the word team really means

  • Dec. 31, 2014 3:45 p.m.

Team: a group of people who work together.

That is but a small part of one definition of team and it usually involves the sporting world. But after watching a brilliant documentary on a very special team from the 1950s the definition, with apologies to Webster’s, falls so very short of the mark.

Once upon a time there was a football team in San Francisco which played in the NCAA ranks and like most fairy tales there was a hero and a villain.

The heroes were easy to find in this story – any member of the San Francisco Dons.

The villain was even easier to find because it wasn’t a group of people. It was a line of thinking which is so embarrassing, disgusting and revolting it was difficult to imagine but it was true as the day is long.

You can put a name to it from a long list like narrow-mindedness, tunnel vision, fear, hatred, ignorance or other descriptors but in the end it was simply known as racism and it had a starring role in this fairy tale.

I won’t tell you how this all ended as you should find the video in order to judge for yourself but in the end I saw what I felt was one of the most courageous, selfless and meaningful gestures I have read or seen.

I will give you a brief glimpse into the story line.

This football team from a Catholic school had just come off a great season and the expectation was for an even better one as they had so many players coming back.

Two of those players were African-Americans who not only were good people but outstanding football players.

That sets the table for you and the rest of the story tells about that 1951 season which played out like a Disney movie with a very dramatic twist. Now before you rush off and Google this team do yourself a favour and find the documentary first, then watch it.

After you have seen the film you can Google your brains out but I recommend watching first and reading later as to not spoil the conclusion.

Without being a spoiler I can say there is a good measure of karma for the members of the Don’s who tell their story and rightfully so.

It came with a huge price and if you put it all in context of the decade you maybe can get a feel for what these young men did in order to be a team in every sense of the word.

sports@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Two-vehicle collision involved stolen vehicle in Red Deer

One driver transported to hospital, one arrested

WATCH: Food Truck Fridays are back in full swing

Red Deerians enjoy a variety of different foods

RDC introduces Justice Studies diploma to fill community gap

Forty students will begin studies in Fall 2018

Seventh annual ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ set for June 7th

Red Deer fundraising event to take place at The Outreach Centre

WATCH: Alix holds 2nd annual Icebreaker Roughstock

Many come out to see some intense rodeo action

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

Alberta Party names candidate for upcoming byelection

The Alberta Party made the announcement May 24 at the lighthouse in Sylvan Lake

Military college students accused of violating Qur’an with bacon

Alleged acts by four cadets from the Royal Military College in Quebec caught on video

Most Read