There was a moment of "heartbreak" in the Schnauzer household the other night when we learned that Briarwood Christian had lost to St. Paul's in the Class 5A championship game of the Alabama high school football playoffs.
And what a heartbreaker for Briarwood. The Lions blocked a punt in the closing seconds and took it in for a touchdown that appeared to tie the game. But St. Paul broke through to block the extra-point kick and held on for a 14-13 victory.
It would have been Briarwood's fourth state championship, its third since Coach Fred Yancey, my former neighbor, got involved in a strange, rushed, poorly handled real-estate transaction that led to all kinds of legal and financial woes for your humble blogger. In fact this blog never would have happened if Briarwood had not tried to come up with a sweetheart housing deal for its coach, leaving me with a criminal for a new neighbor.
To put it bluntly, evidence strongly suggests that Briarwood's negligence has pretty much ruined my life and my wife's life. And the no one associated with the school has shown the slightest inclination toward taking responsibility for it. And these people call themselves Christians.
So excuse me if I failed to suppress a smile, and perhaps a whoop of joy or two, upon learning that Briarwood had lost.
I know the Good Book says we are not supposed to take joy in our enemy's travails. But I'm sorry, I've got flaws, and one of them is I enjoy seeing my enemies suffer. I also know the Good Book says we are supposed to forgive those who have harmed us. But you can't forgive someone who has not sought forgiveness, who has not acknowledged they have done wrong. And the good folks at Briarwood have clearly shown that they are more interested in winning football games, and raking in the cash that comes with winning football games, than they are in doing what's right.
Is it an accident that the school has made a major addition to, and renovation of, its facilities since I got left holding the bag on their little real-estate deal? I don't think so.
So consider the hypocrisy that was dripping from this story in last Thursday's Birmingham News. It's about the Briarwood coaching staff and concludes with this quote from Yancey, the head coach:
"This is a complete staff. They have a big picture view of why they're coaching. To them, it's way bigger than football. They're molding kids for a lifetime."
How are the adults at Briarwood going to "mold kids for a lifetime" when they themselves don't know how to do the right thing? Here's the message Briarwood adults are sending: "If you take hurried and negligent action that causes someone else great harm, don't worry about it. That's tough luck for the other guy. You just grab what you think belongs to you; do what's best for you; look out for No. 1. And don't be afraid to use the power of public officials to your advantage. It always helps to have a few judges in your back pockets."
Think I'm exaggerating? Well, I've got evidence that strongly suggests Briarwood officials not only know that Shelby County judges cheat people on their behalf, but that Briarwood folks encourage it.
Molding kids for a lifetime? Don't make me puke.