Dear Mayor Rawlings-Blake:
Or as I prefer to call you, Mayor VROOM! VROOM! Can I call ya that? Sure I can.
All us Balti-morons, by this point, know of your passion for car racing. (Hence the name Mayor VROOM! VROOM!) You brought the car race known as the Baltimore Grand Prix here in 2011. It was a colossal flop.
Undeterred, (not surprising, since your buddy Gov. Martin O’Malley ran for that office on a record of failure, and won) you surged ahead and brought a second Baltimore Grand Prix to the city this year.
That wasn’t much better. But you no doubt will drag the city through a third Baltimore Grand Prix in 2013. But can you get that VROOM! VROOM! sound out of your ears long enough give props to a team that plays a sport that, given your passion for zooming cars, appears to be not to your liking?
The first weekend in December the football team of Dunbar High School won its third consecutive state championship. According to the Baltimore Sun, devoid of copy editors but, I suppose, still a pretty reliable source, the title was the seventh for Dunbar since 2004 and the ninth in the school’s history.
ALL those championships have been won since 1993, when city public schools bolted from the established, venerated Maryland Scholastic Association and joined the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.
Ironically, Dunbar was the only city public school that voted to stay in the MSA. All the others were eager to join the MPSSAA. But it’s been Dunbar that’s hauled in the most MPSSAA championships for the city.
Way back in March, Mayor VROOM! VROOM!, when you still had visions of cars ripping and racing through downtown Baltimore, Dunbar won its 14th state championship in boys’ basketball.
That was the Class 1A title. Patterson High School, led by Aquil “Crimestopper” Carr, (basketball’s next big thing, according to ESPN, even though he stands only 5 feet, 7 inches tall) won the Class 3A championship.
Lake Clifton High School won the Class 2A title. Baltimore had no entry in the Class 4A championship game, but, with the dwindling population of Baltimore’s high schools, the city doesn’t have many, if any, 4A schools left.
So three of four state boys’ basketball championships went to city public schools in March. Add the championship that the Dunbar girls’ basketball team won in Class 1A and you have five of eight state basketball titles being won by city public schools.
Did this stellar record of athletic excellence get any props from the office of one Mayor Stephanie VROOM! VROOM! Rawlings-Blake? It did not.
Has Dunbar’s football team winning its third straight championship, its seventh in nine seasons and ninth overall captured the attention of anyone in the mayor’s office?
It has not. That boy’s basketball championship Dunbar won in March was its 14th, which ties a state record. (And again, I emphasize, that’s 14 championships in the 19-year span from 1993 to 2012.)
Between football and boys’ basketball, we’re talking 23 championships for one school since 1993. Add in the six championships the Dunbar girls’ basketball team has won and we’re talking 29 state titles in 19 years for one school.
That achievement warrants some kind of official recognition, Mayor VROOM! VROOM! No other city public school comes even close to matching Dunbar’s record of 29 state championships.
Yes, I know how, being a Baltimore Democrat, recognizing and rewarding excellence might be problematic for you. Excellence is simply not what Baltimore Democrats do. I understand that.
But try to tear yourself out of VROOM! VROOM! mode long enough to have some kind of ceremony for Dunbar’s athletes— past and present— at City Hall. And make it a bona fide celebration and reception, with vittles. I’m talking serious catering here, with filet mignon and au gratin potatoes and, of course, cake. DON’T leave out the cake!
Get somebody working on this, VROOM! VROOM! Show the youngsters of this city that their leaders and elders appreciate, recognize and reward their achievements.
You’ve got the rest of 2012 and most of 2013 to focus on the third (ho hum) Baltimore Grand Prix.