Upon reading of the “Our River” submission last week I decided to go to a Burley girl’s basketball game to witness the royal flooring and guards. I had a different experience from the anonymous yet obvious Minico visitor from across “Our River.” Although the original article expressed a valid point of view, I would like to suggest an equally valid, yet alternative view. Since I am not a member of the “floor keeper” organization I am not sure if it is anymore correct that the original article, but I offer it as a possible explanation.
I have coached several basketball teams throughout Idaho since moving here. I’ve seen 100 basketball floors across the US and Canada. Burley’s new floor is beautiful. Whoever designed it did a fantastic job. I salute that individual(s). The Snake River appeals to my right brain. Finally non geometric shapes! The green wash on the out of bounds area is a nice accent. The finish is new and shiny. As a lifelong basketball player I can attest to how nice it is to play on a new, clean floor and can understand why the school administration wants to keep it nice. It’s a totally normal, healthy human trait to keep things nice when they are new. When I get a new car I am super protective to keep it nice and new. I see it as a sign of being a good steward of such a gift. I am not sure who all the “high dollar” advertisers were but I also am grateful that they donated the money (at least part of it) to build such a nice floor for the Burley High School and the people of Burley. I also believe it is responsible for the school to safeguard the sacrifices these businesses made to give us such a nice floor. It shows that we appreciate and value the sacrifices from those businesses. I have a similar viewpoint to the original article that the gym is obviously a great venue for non sporting events like assemblies, dances, graduation, etc. and that it is fun for kids to run out on the floor and shoot around after the game. Perhaps a solution could be found where people can have the courtesy to clean their shoes off when they come in the school so it doesn’t damage such a beautiful floor. I’m sure some “high dollar” business will take advantage of the school and donate some great matts or carpets to protect the floor. Hopefully non sporting people aren’t denied access to such a beautiful floor. Sports players are only allowed to wear clean, rubber soled footwear and a rule like this would provide some equality. Muddy cowboy boots aren’t acceptable on a nice gym floor.
Finally I think the “Our River” in small print on one side of the court is a nice touch. Those words don’t necessarily dictate exclusive ownership. Literarily speaking, they have multiple possibilities. I see those words as recognizing how important the river is to Burley. It is Burley’s river. However, being Burley’s river does not negate it also being Minidoka’s river, and Declo’s river. Hopefully we all see that the river is all “our” stewardship. Perhaps we could find a common thread and instead of having such bitter rivalries, a friendly, sportsmanlike one could emerge.
Hopefully the powers that be can find a solution where everyone can use the gym and still keep it as beautiful as it is now. I am sure it can be done.