08 January 2009

The Spitzer Robotics Team part 2

I totally forgot to mention it when discussing disgraced ex-Governor Elliot's Spitzer completely out-of-touch plan to use the stimulus package make robotics teams as common and popular as football teams, but a local high school actually tried something like that back in my day.

When I was in high school the coach ("coach") of the Rockville High School quiz show team, whom I competed against regularly, convinced his principal to let the team buy letter jackets for its members. They decided that since they had "team" in their name they deserved the same recognition as the football team, the baseball team, etc. They wore the jackets to every competition. None of their classmates took them seriously. None of their competitors took them seriously either. They actually fielded a pretty good team, but everyone recognized the jackets at a naked attempt to literally dress up something unpopular in a more favorable costume.

You can't just declare something to be popular (intelligence, sobriety, and abstinence all come to mind) and expect kids to agree with you.


  1. Huh. At my high school (class of '88) you could letter in almost anything. I believe I lettered in football, wrestling, track, band, quiz bowl, and "academics". I was always a bit amused by the non-athletic letters, but it doesn't seem like it was a big deal one way or the other. I don't recall more than a couple non-athletes with varsity jackets.

  2. I'm not saying it's a huge deal, but as far as I know it was anomalous in our county. I just thought it was a good example of trying to change the social stature of an activity by fiat.