Professional hockey teams do a lot to keep fans at games entertained, including during intermissions. Jugglers, celebrities and stand-up comics have been used over the years, to varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, we’ve now regressed to the point professional teachers are being used for a demeaning, distasteful attempt at fun-n’-games.
The “Dash for Cash” disastrous event that went viral took place in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but apparently, it had gone unnoticed that this type of intermission event was used in Green Bay at the United States League games for years. Years. (This is an entire other column).
But suffice to say, the USHL has failed people and the hockey community by letting this go on under their watch. They degraded the teaching profession by having grown adults grovel for one-dollar bills at center ice. To say the contestants – real professionals and not circus workers – were being patronized is an understatement in the extreme.
There was a total of $5,000 available to these teachers in Sioux City, and it was money that, when stuffed in their pockets, would go toward their school’s budget. The sponsor of the event simply could’ve arranged for one of those fake giant checks in the amount of five grand, and given it to one school; or they could’ve divvied up the 5k evenly among a number of schools. Instead, they thought that making teachers publicly, desperately reach out – for money they should already have in state-funded education – was a perfectly acceptable form of entertainment.
The Sioux Falls fiasco could’ve happened in any sport, especially in minor pro leagues, where franchises are desperate for revenue and interest. But it happened in hockey, and so hockey has to be part of the lesson.
The organizers of Dash for Cash event have apologized and are donating additional money to area teachers, but one thing is clear: there can never be another “dash for cash” involving any underpaid group in society. The optics are horrendous. There is no good excuse for staging this crud.
You’d have to expect at least one or two people involved in the Green Bay and Sioux Falls “dashes for cash” thought, “Hey, this isn’t going to turn out the way you think it will”. You can’t convince me there wasn’t a handful of people who held their noses and decided it was better to go along to get along, and allowed this to clear the bar of proper entertainment. That nobody rang the alarm is an indictment not just of the person who came up with the idea, but of everyone who knew about it before and during its appearance on the ice.
Bring some Cirque du Soleil artists to the intermission. That won’t put down anyone, inadvertently or purposefully. Hire a magician, or one of those David Blaine mass-illusion types if you really want a spectacle. That won’t get you roasted on Twitter. That won’t put the spotlight on a woefully-supported form of public service.
That’s what teachers are – they’re public servants, serving something extremely valuable: young people, striving to be their best. Top-notch teachers help those young people by lifting them up and exposing them to our most important concepts and creations. Great teachers are pillars of their community. They are not some wacky-waiving-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man.
If anything, we should celebrate teachers during intermissions. Teaching is a noble career. It deserved much better than it got in Green Bay and Sioux Falls. And it’s owed a public apology.