Transition of Power
Another topic that has been linked to the NBA finals with "the King" facing off against the Warriors. Just before I started this post I heard a few more radio hosts talk about the Warriors, and more specifically Kevin Durant, being the heir to the thrown. Say what you will about LJ forming the white hot Heat but I'll never put it on the same level as a top five player going from nearly beating the Warriors one year, to joining them the next. It's as spineless as it is cheap, even though he had every right to make that call with the current constitution of the NBA.
But that's not what I'm actually here to discuss. The phrase smooth transition of power is most commonly associated when going from one leader to another. That's the most important usage of it that I can think of. In politics, as in sports, it's rarely a smooth process, as admirable of a goal as it may be. But on the lower levels it does tend to go more smoothly.
Whether it be from Senator to Senator, Governor to Governor or Mayor to Mayor it rarely is as tumultuous as going from President to President can be. Likewise on the amateur levels of sporting, the transition of dominance from one school to another usually happens gradually and smoothly. For some it's like a tide that rises and lowers. Even Alabama has had it's ups and downs in Football and they're the gold standard for success. North Carolina, Texas, UCLA, Michigan, Notre Dame. All colleges that have experienced the highest of highs but also average to well below average stretches of time. NDSU Football has been on a great run for most of the last decade and with the team they have coming back, the number will likely grow by one in the not too distant future.
But that's still not what I'm here to discuss. I've been a Fargo resident and a North Dakotan from the start. I love this part of the world, a significant reason why I'm going this whole sports blog thing. Even with the loyalty that I have for it, I'm not blind to the fact that it's still very much a small town. According to an estimate I found, Fargo ranks inside the top 230 in America. Not too shabby and when the surroundings are taken into account it the F/M/WF may crack the top 100. Even better, but it's still on the small side and that's with a lot of growth recently.
During my formative years there was Moorhead High, Fargo North, Fargo South and West Fargo, plus Oak Grove, Shanley and Park Christian in the immediate area. Now West Fargo Sheyenne and Fargo Davies have joined the mix. Shanley & Oak Grove both got major upgrades not too long ago as well. So in the last decade or so the tri-town's gone from a 3 school community, not counting the private schools, to having eight legitimate options for primary ed. That's a huge leap and signs seem to indicate that the end of the upward mobility of the area has not yet come.
So what does that have to do with sports?
The increase in the number of schools is in direct correlation to the number of students in the area. More students = more athletes. More athletes theoretically means better competition between all the schools, but that hasn't exactly been the case. All the schools have been fortunate enough to have quality performers in various sports but in the advent of the new schools, and all the development around them, many of the best athletes have started to show up at Davies & Sheyenne. Far from always the case, one look over the rosters at NDSU, MSUM & Concordia will show that but it's a marked change from earlier years.
Moorhead was the Hockey school...still is
Fargo South got a lot of the best of the rest.
Not any more though.
They still get some, they all still get some.
It's an important distinction but with the championships and the production of talent, the transition from little Fargo to slightly bigger Fargo with more school's has definitely happened. I just wonder if it's the best thing every student and competitor. There isn't a clear answer, but hopefully the point I intended to make is a clear one!