A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Is Football All There Is, My Friends? Then Let's Keep Dancing

Matawan Football Alumni Foundation is asking the Aberdeen Township Planning Board to allow them to build a memorial park at the high school in honor of school alumni. It would be named the James C Dwyer Alumni Park. See SP10-517. MFAF considers the project a done deal, based on their website's description of the project and timeline. They've already invited the mayors and school district officials to the groundbreaking on 5 June.

Isn't it a boorish slap in the face of teachers, administrators, and janitors for local high school football fans to be embellishing their sport's legacy with their private donations at the same time the community has overwhelmingly voted down the school budget because everyone is so damned strapped for cash?

And, to top it off, football fans plan to honor their sacred football tradition by dedicating their "memorial park" on September 11th. What a mixed message. A memorial park is meant to honor the dead, but this park has nothing to do with September 11th.

The Foundation says this is supposedly an "alumni park," but they really mean sports alumni. And then they say it is meant to promote Huskies sports, but of course it will be a Mecca for football alumni and fans.  The Planning Board agenda doesn't even mention the sports theme. Could they reasonably expect this will be an alumni park?

I guess it's true: football is all there is.


  1. A memorial park? To ALL sports? Will there be a brick in memory of the golf team?

    The Board of Education is going to approve this memorialization on school grounds? Or is the MFAF going to copy the Aberdeen Town Council, using the old "Planning Board" bypass?

  2. Although I don't recall ever voting upon it, Mr. Martucci did present his plans to the board last year. It's a football alum thing but other sports alum will be able to organize and participate. However, to my knowledge, none of the other sports have an active alumni organization.

    So long as there's no cost or liability to the school district, I have no opposition to the plan. If alumni want to celebrate their achievements and remain involved with the school district, more power to them.

  3. More power to them is an apt expression. We will be institutionalizing the Huskies football organization in this district - boosting its power and prestige beyond reason. Their ostentation shouldn't be permitted, especially with the recent budget struggle.

    The school needs an active alumni association; a football club isn't a viable surrogate. The district should attempt to fill that gap. Is it the role of former students to create an alumni association? Doesn't the board have a role?

    Furthermore, the board needs to realize that donations to this project will negatively impact school fundraising, brick by brick. There is a limited pool of cash, especially these days, and parents and alums who give to this bully monument will have little left for school-related activities.

  4. Pat,

    The school board can support and recognize but not create an alumni association. To my knowledge, the football alumni and the theater alumni are the only active alumni groups. If someone was interested in dedicating the time to establish an alumni association, I'm certain the board would be very interested but nobody has made such an offer.

    Also, I disagree that fund raising among the football alumni will adversely affect other district fund raising. The football alumni association has been successfully fund raising for years.

  5. Football alumni? Really? Something like this exists? We need a group to form the "calculus alumni".

    Reminds of the classic quote from Napolean Dynamite: "If only coach had put me in, we'd a made state..."