To make amends

Call me naive, call me oblivious, call me whatever you please, but I never thought that my little blog post about cheerleading – a sport (or activity, if you prefer), that few people care about – would ever go as viral as it did. I started this blog last semester, and from September – December I received a little over 400 hits, or views, total. Since I published my post last night around 7 o’clock or so, my blog has received 1,098 hits (as of 2:21pm on Jan 30th, 2012). For my number of views to nearly triple in a matter of hours astounded me. Yet with a topic so controversial, and with wording and speculation as amateur as mine was, I guess I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am. People always say that hindsight is 20/20, and mine is clearer than ever.

Let me start off by saying that if you have not read the string of comments that went along with my post, please do so. They were the inspiration for this rebuttal and I appreciate the individuals who took the time to share their opinions with me. There were a few people who decided to comment by making blatant character attacks upon me, which I cannot say felt too great. Yet maybe that’s just my karma coming around and kicking my ass like it was supposed to.

Now to the point of this post. I made some errors in my initial post “Club vs. Division 1”. The title in itself should have been tweaked, for I did not make legitimate comparisons, just ranted about my own annoyances that I have acquired throughout the years. Within my post, there were three points that I wrote about that hit home to a lot of individuals, and not in a good way. Those three things were that I made incorrect assumptions about D1 athletes receiving free meals, apparel, and tuition. Yes, I was wrong. Not every D1 athlete receives these “perks” as I called them. While some athletes receive full rides and free meal plans and excessive clothing, this is not the case for every athlete or even for every team. I was wrong to question the motives of others for why they partake in the sport of his or her choice. That judgment should be made by no one but the individual.

Perhaps my biggest mistake, though, was generalizing all D1 athletes into one category, and I apologize for clumping every athlete and team together. There are far too many individuals and personalities and character types within Division 1 athletics to categorize them all as being the same. This is where the wrath that I had to endure came from.

Just like there are cheerleaders who are ditsy and overly-peppy, there are D1 athletes who are arrogant, unappreciative of the things that are given to them, and take complete advantage of their academics and their professors just to save their athletic eligibility. I have seen this first hand while working at multiple offices on campus for four years now, and it is a sad sight to see. However, for those of you D1 athletes who do appreciate the things that you are given, who do bust your ass inside the classroom and out on the field or on the court, and who are humble, kind, and considerate of others, I apologize to you. I should have never questioned the character of an athlete, an athletic team, or anyone else for that matter.

I am a senior and have spent four years building and acquiring relationships with athletes from swimming and diving, synchronized swimming, baseball, softball, women’s and men’s basketball, women’s and men’s soccer, women’s and men’s lacrosse, and golf. It took a long time to gain mutual understanding with these individuals who I have gotten to know, and for one blog post to tarnish those relationships is unfortunate, yet no one’s fault but my own. I love Canisius and rant and rave about it to more people than I can count. I give tours through the Admissions office because I want to show off the school that I love so much to others. I was an orientation leader for two years because I wanted to foster the excitement that I have for Canisius in new students. I have also spent four years studying communication studies and business management, hoping to go into social media marketing or public relations. My last post and its wrath is my real-life lesson that I have had to learn the hard way. The mistakes I made were simple, and could have been avoided if I had been more careful, but I wasn’t. I wrote out of frustration and on a whim and I am now dealing with fixing the things that I broke.

I stand by my frustrations that club sports are often under appreciated and poorly recognized. Many individuals, D1 athletes or not, have poked fun at my cheerleading team, harassed us, laughed directly in our faces while we performed at games, and have walked all over us as though we were the scum of the earth. Yet with my last post, I was no better than those people who made fun of us, because I underestimated them. We all make mistakes. We say things we don’t mean, we do things we wish we hadn’t, and we look back thinking “What the hell was going through my head?”. But it’s how we bounce back from those things that matter. Again, I apologize to anyone who I offended, I appreciate the comments and criticism that I was given, and I hope I can be forgiven and looked at as someone who not only loves cheerleading, but respects Canisius and everything that it comes with – including Division 1 Athletics.

– Katie Costello

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6 thoughts on “To make amends

  1. Gregory Wood says:

    Live and learn, eh? Nice follow up Katie. I think it shows a lot of class to be willing to admit when you’ve hurt someone’s feelings and respond as you did in this post. Great blog. I hope you’ll continue to use this platform to promote your passion for the sport.

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    • cheerdummy says:

      Thanks, Dr. Wood. It was definitely a lesson learned the hard way but at the end of the day I’m much better because of this. I can take this example to a job interview and show my blog stats, my responses, and my follow up. I’ll definitely be continuing on with this platform, although I doubt any other post will generate the hits that this one did! Talk about total engagement with your audience, huh?

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  2. emirico80 says:

    First of all, the comments on this blog post are absolutely atrocious. I have never seen so many people attack someone’s (a quite amazing person at that) character over a mere opinion.

    I’ll keep this short and sweet… Cheerleading is by FAR a sport and I have seen first-handed the amount of work that these girls put in and how passionate they are about their school. Simply, they DO NOT receive enough credit. I believe that was the point of the original blog post — as twisted and misconstrued as it became.

    It’s embarrassing that SOME of the D1 athletes and commenters have proceeded to BASH her character, call her names, and put down the cheerleading program in general. Katie Costello is an athlete, a Canisius advocate, a great friend and an amazing person.

    The bottom line… The inappropriate comments are evidence of how Katie Costello had a POINT. Cheerleading is obviously not respected among some Canisius students. Even more disheartening, the people who proceed to bash the young ladies who cheer on our teams do not even have sufficient arguments against them. They result to character attacks, inappropriate words and negative messages.

    May I remind everyone… Canisius students should support each other and ALL of the campus groups, whether they be D1 athletes or from the Habit for Humanity Club. I truly believe that this original post was NEVER meant to overlook the hard work of our D1 athletes, but simply to create awareness for other club sports.

    D1 athletes are athletes for a reason… they are hard workers, good students and talented athletes. Let’s not lie, they do receive “perks”– because they earn it. The hard work they put in allows SOME to receive sporting clothes, free meals, etc… However, that’s part of being a D1 athlete NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE…you guys deserve it.

    Katie’s point was that, sometimes, the cheerleaders are overlooked. In many schools with D1 athletes, their cheerleaders are also D1. I think they definitely DO deserve more credit as do our D1 athletes for their success in their sports and championships.

    I want to conclude by saying that obviously some people took Katie’s message the wrong way… However, she issued a respectable, mature apology in which she demonstrated the ways that she was incorrect/misconstrued. That takes a BIG person– not to mention none of the DISGUSTING comments about her did she EVER delete or remove.

    People, we are in college, if you want to voice your opinion it should be free of crude language and character attacks, ESPECIALLY if you do not know the person.

    I think I speak for everyone who has EVER come in contact with Katie when I say, someone as hardworking and intelligent as she is does NOT deserve to be harassed online. Please continue commenting with the amount of CLASS that she has clearly shown.

    Go Griffs, D1 athletes and club sports included.

    xox

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  3. Anonymous says:

    First off, I’m glad that you decided to write another blog correcting your mistakes because the first one seemed to be written blindly, without clearly knowing all your facts. This is why some of us athletes were extremely angry. Yes I agree that some athletes laugh at you at games, but to be fair, sometimes we face the same adversity. But what we have learned is how to get over it and do what know how to do in the best way possible. I don’t mean to bash, only to educate…if you wanted to be recognized with what you think you should, why Canisius? I’m not from around here and I have seen some AMAZING cheerleading teams who compete on a very high level. They are highly publicized and receive many accolades due to the fact that they work SO MUCH HARDER THAN ANY TEAM THAT I KNOW. If you wanted that respect and publicity, then you should have gone to those schools. They give scholarships, they give many perks, and on top of that, they receive all the respect in the world. If you could give up your weekends, your free time, basically your entire 4 years of college and make one of the biggest commitments of your life, then cheerleading could be a sport at Canisius. We all know that’s what girls and boys on cheerleading teams at other schools do, possibly even more then all of the athletes at this school combined. Stop whining that cheerleading doesn’t get the respect and perks that we do…life isn’t always fair. Even within the athletic community, people don’t always get recognition like others. Life is cut-throat, what you think you deserve doesn’t always get given to you. I’ve played 17 years of my sport and I’ve seen a fair share of unfair moments and you just learn how to get over it. DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND NEVER LET ANYONE GET IN YOUR WAY AND MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH. You made it on the cheerleading team somehow because someone saw something in you that made you special. Overall, if you want respect, and I’m sure we have given you a lot of it only a few ruin it, then stop whining about things you can’t change or control. Only worry about what you can do to make not only your team but yourself better.

    ❤ Two Respected Athletes Who Don't Criticize Others At Canisius

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  4. linda says:

    classy…. gutsy ….. passionate…… caring…. I could go on and on. You are wonderful Katie! What a difference 24 hours can make eh?

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  5. Tom Costello says:

    Obviously a chord was struck….by an opinion. Taken, misunderstood, twisted and turned into reason to rage and vent. I would bet that all those, with perhaps a select few, wont find the time to reply to your recent post. The likes of Melvin Narpenburg and his senseless side kick Finklesteins Brother, show the waste of time and money spent on an education. They obviously will not mature until it’s too late.
    And for those who want to mention the time and money spent on their sport of choice, of all the dedication and hard work and MONEY they spent on Dental bills and other medical expanses….I say this, give credit where credit is due. At your age…I can bet soundly that it was at the expense of YOUR PARENTS…all you did was go out and play and get hurt…. it was the sacrifice and expense of your parents…up until what point? High School? NOW? If you seriously paid all your bills and supported yourself your entire Sports Career to ANY LEVEL, then you really shouldn’t even be in school at this point…you should be running a country or discovering the cure for cancer, because truly you are amazing. Otherwise, try and stick to what is more like the truth. You may have dedicated yourself to your sport, but you are not the sole provider of that dedication that had to nutured to the level you are at. And if you cannot post your name and have to use “Anonymous” , then just shut up.
    I hope what all of you learn is that people make mistakes, in actions as well as verbally. You have, if you haven’t, you will. Be an Educated person….that is what you are trying to be while your there…besides playing sports, isn’t it? Realize that this world has a cornucopia of opinions…some we agree on, some we don’t…but we all have the right to express them. If you don’t agree…express yourself in a mature grown up way…making sure that you understand where the author iscoming from …the world would be a better place if you gave the same respect, as you would expect to get from those of us, who have wasted our time reading your ridiculous responses.
    Katie, for those who badgered you with perhaps a bit more finesse and showing of themselves as a better, more mature person….lets see what type of character they are made of. We can do this simply by the choice they will make to respond to your apologetic post. Chances are they wont, PERHAPS thinking of themselves as “to good” to respond. But I beleive it is more likely they will be satisfied that they voiced their opinion,they “vented” and used your article as their target…similar which is , to me, reminiscent of a bunch of “followers” in a lynch mob…Lemmings if you will….only to show they can’t compare to your integrity…which is an ingredient, that makes someone better then a true athlete, it makes them a well rounded, balanced human being. Which I think is and should be the basis, if not, of every educational institution.
    To voice an opinion is to take the chance/risk of pissing off someone. As Americans we have the right to freedom of speech….and we pay for it in many ways, especially when we exercise that right.
    What everyone so easily lets go of, is your statement that your original post was an expression of what YOU HAVE WITNESSED. Through your eyes.
    If anyone who has commented negatively would realize this…then I am sure they should also be aware that there is always “A bad Apple in Every barrel” and it is these you speak of. If they want to include themselves in that group, defend it through hostile vulgarities, immaturity, then it stands clear, they should be.
    I have witnessed your dedication to your sport, as well as to Canisius. I couldn’t be more proud of you. I can read your blog and understand your perspective , as well as the perspectives of others, even those who lost touch of where you were coming from in this. It seems when they read it, in their understanding of what they “thought” they were reading, it triggered some defences to arise…once the defenses are up…people vent….easily losing sight of all reasoning, then REACT….a lesson time teaches, try not to REACT….it pays to read something once or twice, to be certain of what the author is saying, to understand the situation…then ACT. Reading your blog, I can say I am proud of the way you have handled the matter….for the parents of those who responded, I hope they can feel the same way toward the reponses their children have posted and be able to feel as proud….

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