Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chapter 8: The Dark at the End of Tunnel

"Punish me. I do not deserve it. But because I do not deserve it, I will accept it so that the world will know that I am right and that you are wrong." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Before I get to this conversation between myself and the current captains, there are a few things that need to be added so that some might understand what I had heard and what I knew going into that conversation. I had been told that Jane (current captain B going forward because someone was getting confused) had been campaigning for awhile for my assistant coach to be the head coach. This was not surprising because Jane had full control of the assistant coach and could have him do whatever she wanted. I watched this happen for the full 2010 season on their home team where he was coach and she was the captain. The puppet strings had been attached for a full year and Jane is all about getting her way without a fight. I also heard about Jane telling MHC skaters that they just needed to hang in there because the job was almost complete. Whatever job might that be I wonder?

Of course, where I get lectured for supposedly "rallying" the troops, here you have your current captain doing the same shit, thinking nobody knows about it. I wonder if she was told that was inappropriate. Nah, that doesn't fit in with the pattern of this tale. Jane had also asked Sukie (or former captain A) for all of our team's drills from the past seasons and had also asked the former captains for their thoughts and opinions on running the team. But I was left out of those discussions for some reason. Sorry, I forgot that you don't ask scapegoats for those things because we didn't even let the scapegoat tell his side of the story in the first place. So why on earth would we want to know what it was like running the team? Funny thing about Jane asking the former captains for advice on running the team was that the former captains still thought they were running the team through her because they were doing all the work for her. That's what happens when you work with some types of people.

And if we want to talk about drills, the bulk of those weren't really the former captains to give to be honest; that's especially the case for the things we did in 2010 as neither former captain showed much interest in contributing drills to the team. If it was something to do with glitter or dancing, then they had full rights to that because those were the main things they contributed in 2010.

The former captains had let their team and their teammates down with their attitudes, their "leadership", and their work ethic (or lack there of), but they were clearly not identified as a reason for this team's problems. I mean sure, they were told by the team what their shortcomings were and how they had affected the team. But upon hearing what the team's problems with them were, they chose to blame me. And upon blaming me, it was like they instantly absolved of those faults and the damage they had done to their team. It's almost like, gasp, the team heard what it wanted to hear about everything being my fault. And from there, the team and its new captains had just ran with it. Didn't matter that I often stepped up to make sure things got done, with the captains' approval, because when you lose, you weren't doing the right thing for the team. No no, it's a negative then because it's me or I'm a strong-willed man or whatever other bullshit people want to float. This is the culture of negativity that we had and though I never intended things to be like that, I get to own my piece of that culture being there too.

This is what I knew and how I felt going into this discussion with the current captains. We had a conference call to discuss things. I felt that Zorro (current captain A) made an honest effort to understand where I was coming from and why I was upset. I still believe that and she was trying to keep me from walking away before a vote had even taken place. Unfortunately, her words were consistently undermined by the words of Jane. I hear things like "I don't know how I could work with you." Or better yet, she goes out of her way to tell me that the team voted for the captains to have full control over things and for the coaches to have no say. This is what she tells me, essentially trying to throw things in my face for some unknown reason. Oh wait, she was upset by a couple of raw emails I had sent to the current captains where I talked about how shitty things were, how I felt like the team had stabbed me in the back, and how I felt about the captains enabling all of it by doing sitting back and leaving me with no voice. Hard to understand why I'd be upset I guess. So, let's get me on the phone so that you can grossly exaggerate the feelings of the team by manipulating a single vanilla voting option on a poll. Frankly, I don't even understand why she participated in the conference call because she had a clear agenda and it wasn't to bring me back.

Although, that's not really true. I would guess that her participation was solely so that she could later say that she was on the call and that she had tried to talk to me. That's her two-faced way of doing things and I had seen it for awhile as it is. I knew of her transgressions and bad feelings for others; things that were usually directed at her teammates in one way or another. I had seen the other side of this person. Zorro was the complete opposite of this though. I sort of wish that she wasn't a captain so that she never got thrown into the mud with the former captains or Jane. Although she was part of the problem to a degree with how the current captains had been treating coaches (guilt by association), I never felt like she was trying to drive me crazy or drive me out. I respected her for what she tried to accomplish and that respect still remains.

The rest of the conference call went like this. Me: I don't like this for this reason. Zorro: I can see that, but this is what I think the team is trying to say. Jane: Snide comment that undermines everything Zorro had just said to me. They tell me I have a day and a half to decide if I want to submit my name and that's the conversation. I thought about what Zorro had said because Jane's words would've only convinced me to burn a bunch of bridges while telling the league there's no fucking way I'm going to consider working with this group of people again.

In the day I took to decide, Alexandra (former captain B) was complaining about it being unfair that I missed the deadline. Why would she complain? Besides the obvious douchebaggery she had led against me, her live-in boyfriend, our B travel team coach, had also conveniently entered his name for consideration as an MHC coach too. But I'll follow up on this in the next chapter.

My decision was to submit my name. I didn't believe for a second that I would be voted in; why would anyone think they would after weeks of this sort of treatment? No, I submitted for personal closure regarding what had happened. I submitted to have that personal validation that the months of secret politicking and shady tactics would influence the voting the way I expected it would. I submitted also to give a few skaters an option other than just being stuck with the other two candidates. But I didn't expect to win. I even texted an MHC skater as much the day before I submitted my letter of intent. I had chosen to believe bullshit from some for weeks, but at this stage, I knew what was up.

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