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Monday, January 4, 2010

UGA, Football, Bowl games, Etc

After having heard something that really disturbed me, last night I did some google searching and learned that Athens-Clarke Co, Ga is NOT in the Top 5 poorest counties in the U.S. It's not even in the Top 100, although four other Ga. counties are. I didn't have time to check and see where the Athens-Clarke Co School System ranked nationally.

Nonetheless, I have to admit that I was stunned to learn about all the Tent Cities within the county. A friend of mine goes to school at UGA (Athens, Ga) and she was telling me about the tent cities up there, also all the Projects. She lives 2 blocks from one of the projects. As her focus is on going into teaching, she's also had opportunities to observe in a number of public school classrooms so she was also telling me about the "student demographics". Sad, very sad.

But why was I so stunned?! I know why. I've not been over to Athens, Ga, however, I've watched many a UGA football game on TV over the years. And I've heard about the town UGA calls home. Don't know if they do it ALL the time (cause I don't watch every game) however, I've seen games where they "show and tell" about the city of Athens and the UGA campus. Georgous ornate and stately homes, wealth, historical landmarks, and an incredible university campus all shown to the world to make one awesome and incredible "wow" statement. Who knew that such opulence takes up a place on the map that, I now know, includes vast numbers of homeless, and people who have formed "cities" within the city as they survive life in tents.

Football is King, as illustrated by all the Bowl games that have been available to watch and enjoy just in the last few days. However, I started wondering. Is there as much focus on helping those who are hurting, those who are homeless, those whe are forced to do without, as is the amount of focus on Foodball? A TON of money is poured out before the king-Football. I don't even want to think about how much money has been poured out all over the country just these last few days for the purpose of king Football. Schools shelled out money for their teams to go play in some bowl somewhere. People who could afford it traveled to go watch their teams. Others went to resturants for Bowl parties, or like me stayed home watching the games on TV. Airlines, Hotels, Resturants, etc all made money off the Bowl games.

Meanwhile, in Athens, Ga and elsewhere too many people struggle to keep warm. Their focus is not on king Football. Having done a lot of tent camping as a child, I know it's not warm. I remember laying on top of layers of cold, crunchy newspapers that was supposed to block out some of the cold, while laying underneath scratchy army blankets, trying to get warm enough to sleep. I can't imagine enduring that as a way of life. My inquiring mind is wanting to know, is there as much focus, as much money poured out to help those on the streets and in the tents as there is for king-football. You know all the WWJD stuff that's been around for some years now? I remember having to ask somebody, "what's WWJD"? What Would Jesus Do. "Oh, I get it". The last few days I've been wondering, What Would Jesus THINK?

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