On My Soapbox: F.E.S.T.

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This column represents the thoughts and opinions of Jason Hennington. This is NOT the opinion of the Taylor Press.

In the spirit of the NCAA Final Four set for Monday night, I thought of Taylor as the starting five of a basketball team.

F.E.S.T. – stands for Five Entities Striving Together. Normally, the phrase would be F.I.S.T. – Five Individuals Striving Together.

The five are the city, the school district, the chamber, the Taylor Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) and the community. Each player has different skills and a different role on the team. However, in order for the team to be successful, all the players have to work together towards the same goal – winning.

This was the downfall of the University of Texas men’s basketball team in the NCAA tournament. Everyone wanted to be “the guy” and their selfishness was ultimately their demise.

Our local team can be incredible as long as everyone plays their role and works within the team’s system.

I would consider the community as the point guard of the team. Point guards orchestrate the offense and put the ball where it needs to be for the best opportunity for the team to score.

The people tell the other entities what they need or want and how they are willing to get there. In other words, people complain about streets or new facilities, then vote for or against new taxes to make that happen. A good point guard will sacrifice their own points to get a higher percentage shot for a teammate.

But, when a point guard gives up a shot for their teammate, they expect them to make it. If they miss, you’ve got to keep playing.

The city is more of a shooting guard because they are expected to make clutch shots, and when it’s crunch time, the shooting guard isn’t afraid to take a big shot – make or miss.

The chamber, to me, is a power forward. Strong from the inside and the outside. Sometimes overlooked for their contribution to the team. They do the things that not everyone wants to do.

The TEDC is the position I would say is the small forward, who is constantly moving and trying to get in position to take a good shot. With or without the ball, the small forward is vital to the team and can bring in points.

In the middle is the school district. This is the player everyone is going to keep an eye on. This player has to have a strong demeanor for your team. The reputation for a center determines how a team prepares for it. A reputation of excuses, low shot percentage and unpredictability makes people not want to deal with the center, including its own teammates.

A reputation of help defense, hard work and strength puts more eyes on the center.

On defense, all five players have to work together to stop attacks on the goal.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now, and well, you guessed it, go watch the Final Four.

If you look at the teams that mix and match their starting lineup a great deal, that sort of inconsistency frequently leads to inconsistency in performance.

- J. B. Bickerstaff

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