If you haven’t heard about the “Fouke Brawl” at last week’s game, then maybe you’ve been under a rock or blessed. The fight was recorded between the local Fouke High School team and a visiting Glen Rose High team. According to most reports on social media and the news from Little Rock to Dallas, the fight was allegedly initiated by a Glen Rose player. By the end of the conflict, multiple players were involved. Now, a fight alone is not unusual in a football game. It’s not uncommon for several players to join in a fight during a game. Spirits and frustrations can be high for many reasons in football. Usually, coaches and referees break up the fight, a team gets an unsportsmanlike penalty, and the game moves on to the next play. There were marked differences in the fight at Fouke.
The fight seemed to quickly spiral out of control in the video and referees, coaches, and local law enforcement can be seen trying to break it up. One recording shown on Facebook has the sound of some fans in the crowd laughing when all at once what appears to be adults run out onto the field. One adult, or assumed adult, tackles a Glen Rose player from behind. The player appeared to be standing on the sideline away from the fight when the man tackled him. Bravely, (yes, whoever you are, sarcasm is intended here) when the student turned to face the adult, he quickly backed up. The adult moved away in a dancing motion that made him appear to be either doing a lousy dance or a pathetic attempt to imitate Muhammad Ali. On second thought, this guy’s actions should not be compared to anything Ali did in the ring. Ali faced his opponents straight up and would never have hit a kid (a minor most likely) from behind. Needless to say, that one incident alone was enough to make anyone sick. Several people on Facebook and other social media sites made comments about it. So far, to my knowledge, the guy has not stood up to be recognized. It’s likely if he does stand up, the Miller County Sheriff will want to visit with him a little – as well they should.
Within a few minutes of the video, the fight is over. The result has been suspensions on both teams, and an investigation by the sheriff’s department with possible prosecution for some local adults. There has been a lot of suggestions online like “cancel the rest of the season,” or “forfeit all games. The fact is Fouke will miss a game this week since they do not have enough players because of suspensions. However, we need to stop and remember a few things before we allow ourselves to judge the Fouke School District, team, or city and community too harshly.
The first thing that must be considered is that the actions recorded represented a few people. In the 2010 census, the population of Fouke was 859. When we look at the video, it appears to be somewhere around maybe five adults or so going onto the field. Five out of the population does not represent Fouke. The second thing to consider is that punishment for the entire team, such as canceling the season, in my opinion, is just not fair. Canceling a season would harm seniors, cheer, dance, band, and others. The players who took a knee during the fight and showed actual sportsmanlike conduct would be punished as well. To punish all for the actions of five or so adults and a few players would be wrong to other students and the community. Finally, we must consider that these five or so adults and the few players involved do not represent the values and the people of Fouke.
Fouke is a thriving and growing community with a rich and beautiful history. Fouke has a couple of stores, a fantastic community center that is always in use, thriving neighborhoods, a great school district, and some of the best people you’ll ever meet. I have never gone to Fouke, and not met a smiling face or someone that treated me like I had lived there all my life. The city is vibrant with churches, a masonic lodge, restaurants, shopping, and that one unique thing that nobody else in the state has, a Monster Mart. The city is always looking for ways to grow, with a farmer’s market, the Miller County Fair, and who can forget having the Fouke Monster Festivals related to that delightful little history. Finally, if anyone is on social media looking for the current weather forecast, rest assured that the Fouke Mayor has posted it somewhere online. He always has all of us in the county and area covered for weather issues.
Simply put, one fight and a few adults acting like they are in grade school again is not representative of the people and the community of Fouke. We need to get past this incident, move on, and remember that even if we do not live in the city of Fouke, the people there are still our neighbors and friends. Fouke is still a part of this little corner of the world we all call home.