The case of Baggy Gate

This is an intriguing story. I’m referring to it as Baggy Gate and its becoming just as entertaining as Weiner Gate although that one still takes the cake for Stupidest Smart Guy of 2011.

If you haven’t heard the story already, it goes like this: Dude arrives at airport with his pants on the ground. Dude tries to board his flight but is asked to pull up his pants. Dude refuses, gets on the plane and more airline employee’s ask him to pull up his pants. Dude still refuses. Dude ends up on national news because he refuses to follow policy.

So far his response has been, “I’m not doing anything. I paid my fees, and I’m ready to go.” Through his lawyer he adds, “I believe in due time all the facts of the matter will come to light.”

Uh, all the facts of YOUR matter were exposed to everyone in the airport, on the flight and now online!

But here is why the story is intriguing to me: I feel like there is a point in time in everyone’s life where you want to make a stand. There are some of us, myself included, who tend to take a stance on something and realize halfway through that we may have jumped the gun and maybe we don’t have all the facts or maybe we’ve reached a point where we feel like there’s no turning back, even if we are wrong. There’s a crossroads that we reach when we can either eat crow and call it good, or we can dig in our heels and stand behind our opinion no matter how obvious our mistake.

It may not be a daily occurrence, but there are times when this happens and it can either be an opportunity for us to learn from it, or we can become completely oblivious to another persons point of view. It’s all about perspective.

For example, this afternoon my sons were playing rugby and one of them was injured due to an illegal tackle. As a coach you do your best to teach young players the importance of playing within the rules for the safety of your players as well as your opponents. No one wants to see someone’s child get hurt. So when my son was injured due to an illegal hit (I believe it was unintentional, just a player being aggressive) I voiced my concern to both the referee and to the player.

Suddenly I’m approached by the players father who informs me that his son can hit any way he wants to. Really? In rugby it may appear that you can hit any way you want but it is illegal to spear players (hitting without wrapping your arms around your opponent) and it is illegal to tackle above the armpits (referred to as a ‘high-tackle’ in rugby), both of which result in a penalty.

I was livid. Unfortunately I became very vocal in front of spectators and both teams. Fortunately, I had two things going in my favor: 1) My arguments were based on the rules of rugby and 2) all of my filters were working – which meant a) no cussing in front of children; b) no physical altercations ensued; c) I diffused the situation because I took a moment to calm down before approaching the father and the coach of the other team (thanks Naki for not knocking my head off) and apologized for being a lunatic father; the exact same thing I’ve preached about before here on my blog. More humble pie for me please.

These things affect me and I tend to beat myself up for not keeping my mouth shut when I know its going to get me in trouble. I make no excuses for my behavior. I was wrong and I recognized that immediately before the scene got out of hand. I should NOT have addressed the opposing player and I should have just tended to my sons injury and walked off the field as gentlemen in rugby have been taught to do.

So there you have it. My public, self-flogging in front of the online masses. I hope that the good people of South Jordan and all of the players present at Burgess Park today can forgive the rantings of a lunatic sporting father.

To the young man of Baggy Gate: C’mon dude! You were wrong. It says so in the airlines rules. They have a right to deny you service when you don’t follow the rules just like I can’t walk into a store naked when the sign on the door says, “No shirt, no shoes, no service”. Accept responsibility. Yes you have a right to dress and act the way you want, but swallow your pride and look at the bigger picture. You may have won in your mind, but by winning, you actually lost.

I’ve always been told, you can make a choice but you can’t choose the consequences. I hope you’ve learned a valuable lesson. I did…again!

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