July 22, 2013

During the summer weeks, "From the Director" will bring to you some of our favorite entries from previous years. Today's blog first appeared May 22, 2012.

I often arrange my days so I can see their sunrises and sunsets; so I have seen more of them, and paused longer over them, than most people I know. But in spite of the large number I’ve seen, I still have some favorites.

Without question, my most memorable sunrise was observed this past January as I stepped out on the balcony of a hotel room in Panama City, cup of coffee in hand, and watched a huge, red-golden sun rise out of the Pacific Ocean. That’s right, the Pacific!

I was in one of those relatively rare locations in the world where the Pacific Ocean is located east of the Atlantic Ocean.

Nearby, great ocean-going ships were traveling east through the Panama Canal in order to reach their western destinations more efficiently.

And beneath the ocean surface, the trim tabs of the huge ships’ rudders were being turned to the left to help the ships steer right, and to the right to help the ships steer left.

Sometimes it is quicker or more economical or just more acceptable to go in one direction for awhile in order to reach an ultimate goal that’s in the opposite direction.

Cheering for Sportsmanship

July 31, 2018

(This blog first appeared on MHSAA.com on January 8, 2013.)

I try to start each new school year at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association summer camp at Michigan State University. I talk briefly about who the MHSAA is and what it does; and then two or three dozen high school newspaper editors and writers ask me questions; and in doing so, they give me clues to what’s going on in our schools and what’s important to our students.

Several years ago, when I opened the session to questions, one young man asked: “Mr. Roberts, what’s your job?” I paused, and then said, “I guess I’m the head cheerleader for high school sports in Michigan.”

So then this precocious student asked: “Okay, what do you cheer for?”  With a briefer pause, this is some of what I said:

  • I cheer for sportsmanship that’s not merely good, but great.

  • I cheer for sportsmanship, not gamesmanship.

  • I cheer for playing by the rules, both the letter and the spirit.

  • I cheer for maximum effort to try to win each and every contest.

  • I don’t cheer for winning at any cost; I do cheer for learning at every opportunity.

  • I cheer for losing with grace and for winning with even greater grace, with humility and modesty.

  • I cheer for the lessons of victory and the even greater lessons of defeat.