Simply, the 5-plus minute video from a recent high school boys basketball game stands on its own.
on one's perspective, snippets taken from the game Dec. 22 between
Highland (Cowiche, Wash.) and Connell (Wash.) highlight a series of
uncalled flagrant fouls, instances of physical play and incompetent
officiating. Maybe it's a combination of the three, or none of the
above. The Internet allows each individual to decide.
be disputed, though, is how quickly video can go viral in this age of
social media and the impact it can have. Each weekend countless
highlight clips are posted at various sites for the world to see,
showcasing the efforts of the nation's prep athletes. The featured
athletes are memorialized for a moment in time.
video is no different. It focuses on six physical fouls committed by two
Connell players in a 38-37 win against Highland. Since it was posted on
YouTube on Dec. 28 by the uncle of one of the Highland players,
reaction to the video has been significant. It has received more than
25,000 views and has drawn more than 90 comments.
when the video is picked up by another web site – in this instance
Guyism.com – and given the headline, ‘The dirtiest basketball player in
Michael Christenson told the Tri-City Herald
that he shot and posted the video solely to spotlight to what he
considered poor officiating. While it might or might not have done
that, it certainly brought unwanted attention to all involved on both
sides of the camera.
"Thinking about it now, I maybe could have
contacted the WIAA (Washington Interscholastic Activities Association)
first, but I wasn't expecting this," Christenson, 32, told the
newspaper. "It wasn't my intention to single (the player) out. If you
look closely at my video, his name is never mentioned. What I wanted to
single out was the officiating."
Not surprisingly, the video drew
criticism from a local basketball official because it didn't show the
overall game, just a few select plays.
The grandmother of one of
the featured players, No. 34, also felt the need to speak out on behalf
of her grandson, and Connell coach Oscar Garza came to the defense of
his player(s). The play of No. 34 has generated the most comments on
"He's a tough kid, but those that know him know he's a
teddy bear," Garza told the Tri-City Herald. "But on (YouTube) he's the
world's meanest, ugliest kid. It's not fair, but I just want him to know
his teammates and coaches are behind him."
In this day and age
when video content is so prevalent – and people can comment in any
fashion they choose with little regard - perhaps Connell athletic
director Steve Frucci summed up matters regarding social media best when
he told the newspaper, "Everybody has a right to their opinion. Not
everybody thinks about all the consequences about what their actions
"It goes to show what can happen in today's day and age. Whoever can afford that technology can do anything they want."