Knights

Posted by Father Don Fraser - September 5, 2014 - Father’s Corner - No Comments

I am not sure, but I think it was the students themselves who chose “Knights” as our school motto.

Whoever chose it, it was a good choice.

For one, it’s good to have a human being as a mascot, rather than say, an animal.

BK is not the only school in America with knights as mascots, several Catholic high-schools, some public schools, even the Central Florida University.

“Knights” have religious elements, historical elements and a military element.

Knights go back to the Roman Empire, when equites-or knights-were a distinguished social status.

In medieval times, warriors on horseback (chevaliers in French, from which the word chivalry derives), were a much-feared fighting machine, a combination mobile beast armored, with an armored, well-trained warrior- the equivalent today of an Abrams MI or Bradley M-7 tank.

Although there have been several attempts in history to regulate warfare (like the Geneva Conventions) it’s almost impossible to do so.

Nonetheless, in the Middle Ages, the Tournament was introduced precisely to put limits on knights in practice. The primary purpose of a tournament was to keep knights in shape for when they had to go to battle.

Today there are several means to structure the contest of a football game: whistle to remind player that a play has ended, penalty flags, down indicators, game data cards carried by officials, stopwatch to keep the time regulated, uniforms, referees, umpires, linesmen, line judges, field judge, back judge, and of course, the field itself with its boundary lines. All of these are intended to keep the contest from becoming a free-for-all. An organized riot, if you will.

Tournaments in Medieval times were rarely individual events, rather stylized group battles, called in French a melee.

The weapons were dangerous: lance, sword, mace, ball and chain, battle ax and the horse and most of all the courage and strength of the knight himself.

American football is now the most popular sport (with NASCAR having more fans, although it’s hard to equate driving a car with a field of contact sport.)

With all this symbolism, every person who takes to the field, the pitch, the track, the crowd, the pool or any other venue carries history and symbolism with them.

Your conduct and courtesy was inspirational in Reno last week. That game had more gallantry I have ever seen in what can be a brutal sport.

But that was then and this is now. There are a lot of corn fields in Caldwell and size can be intimidating. Both teams having racked up the points last week, it may come down to which team conducts itself with honor.

A moral victory is a victory nonetheless, but I look forward to watching tonight organized mayhem, conducted with respect and courtesy.

Good luck, and in keeping with our religious heritage, all eyes will be watching as eagerly as tournaments of old. All things being equal, it is the team who brings honor to themselves that inspires everyone-every time.

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