Daphne Jebens: Imbalance between football, mathletes just doesn't add up

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Daphne Jebens PB Teen Columnist.

Both athletics and academics play important roles in our schools, but which one deserves more recognition?

Let's start with defining each activity. Athletics is any sport group or team, such as football, tennis or lacrosse. Academics is any educational group or team, such as Mathletes, band, or robotics.

Both activities often have competitions, tournaments, or shows which will be announced to the school about a week ahead of time. So if events are common for both activities, then how come athletics are recognized so much more than academics?

One student says that it is possible that football games have a higher turnout than a Mathletes competition because a football game is more entertaining to watch. The more people see the event, the more they talk about it, and the more recognition it gets.

But maybe it's not just about how entertaining the competition is. Maybe it's about how much advertising the competition gets before it even happens. Walk around a school, and chances are that there are many posters and flyers about an upcoming tennis match … but how many advertise an orchestra concert? Not many.


One student attending Century High School says, "They (the school) make a bigger deal about a football game than a band concert." The more advertising the event gets, the more people go to see it, the more they talk about it, the more recognition it gets. It's a chain reaction.

Now let's go back to the beginning question: Which activity deserves more recognition? Keep in mind that this is based on the levels of skill, talent, and practice required for each activity. When asked, most of the students that I interviewed agreed that the activities deserve equal recognition because they require the same amounts of skill, talent, and practice, the only difference being whether those levels are physical or mental.

So does this need to change? Should these activities receive equal recognition? If they do, how will we make sure that they are each getting an equal amount of attention?

Opinions may vary, but this gap deserves to be recognized. Hopefully, we should soon see equality between athletics and academics.

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