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The Suburbanite
  • STEVE KING: Suburban League offers Green too little, too late

  • If the Suburban League really valued Green’s membership, it would have – and should have – made that clear long ago.

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  • Some years ago, we decided to switch trash companies at our home.
    When I called to inform the company of the change, the customer service representative, in an effort to retain us as a customer, offered us a much better rate than we were paying. She thought she was doing something great, but I saw it just the opposite.
    “Why didn’t you offer me that price a long time ago just as a reward for being a loyal, longstanding customer?” I asked. “You’re not treating me right, and you’re not showing any appreciation for my business. In fact, what you’re doing is a slap in the face. As a result, now I’m more determined than ever to sever our relationship.”
    Green High School is in the same situation with the Suburban League. It has taken a threat by Green to bolt the league and join the Federal League for Suburban League officials to offer an incentive to stay.
    Suburban League Commissioner Keith Walker told The Akron Beacon Journal he plans for an expanded number of teams and separate divisions for big and small schools.
    On paper, it looks tempting, but Green can’t let itself get snookered.What the Suburban League is doing is a slap in the face, showing no appreciation at all for Green, one of the league’s charter members.
    The Suburban League took for granted that Green, which has been in the league since 1949, would never leave, no matter how poorly it was treated.
    In terms of proximity, which is a big deal for schools nowadays because of the astronomical price of gas, Green has no business being in a league with schools like Cloverleaf, Highland, Revere or even Nordinia for that matter. What’s the rivalry? It’s a “backyard” one only if you consider a good chunk of this region as your backyard.
    Although Green is not in the Federal League, there is already a rivalry with schools in that league that are next-door neighbors –  Lake, Jackson and North Canton Hoover. Those are real backyard rivalries which will draw a lot more fans and interest than events against schools nearly 30 miles away. That would save Green – and its fans – plenty of money in gas, while increasing gate revenues.
    Green can already compete with Federal League schools in most sports. Yes, Green’s football team is 2-8 against Federal League schools in recent seasons. But Green has a strong football tradition and can take steps to catch up with the pack.
    It would be ironic – and wrong – if football is the reason the school doesn’t make the jump to the Federal League.
    The move to the Federal League is a great opportunity to elevate the district and its athletic programs.
    Page 2 of 2 - If the Suburban League really valued Green’s membership, it would have – and should have – made that clear long ago. It’s too late to try to do it now after the damage has been done.
    Changing leagues is as simple as changing trash companies: Simply hang up the phone and move on.