Black is the new white. That is what sporting goods sales personnel tell coaches when ordering uniforms.
It seems that every school has incorporated black into their uniforms. Some use it as trim. Some use it as the main color, even if black is not one of the school’s colors.
One school whose colors are red and gold now has all-black uniforms in football. Their coach said that the color black makes his players play harder and tougher.
Ironically, Vista, whose school color is black, has been wearing red since the Dick Haynes era, but the Panthers are mixing black back into the uniforms and use black shirts as a motivational tool in practice.
Ramona High School has been adding more and more black to its uniforms lately, but that is not the reason that the football team rushes onto the field with two black flags before games.
Defensive coordinator Coach Ed Munyer explained why the Dawgs rally behind the black flags. Munyer is a career Navy NCO and a history buff.
Coach Munyer was raised in a military family. His father, Lt. Colonel Bill Munyer, was a career officer. Munyer was born on an Army base in Germany and raised on a base in North Carolina. He graduated from Douglas Byrd (a military man) High School in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Duke is not his favorite university).
Munyer is a Master Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy and will retire with 30 years of service to our country. He has been deployed to the Persian Gulf seven times. He has done his time at sea.
So why the black flags?
“In ancient times when a city was under siege the city would hoist a black flag,” said Munyer. “It represented character. It meant no quarter. The black flag stated that the city would never give up, never surrender. That is not only how we want our football players to play, that is how we want them to live their lives. That is how we play and how we conduct ourselves.
“We are not just trying to make good football players but productive members of society. We want our players to compete in the classroom, in the workplace and in society. When times get hard we want them to respond and fight through difficulties.
“Our kids take it seriously. The players who graded out the highest on offense and defense in the previous game get to run the flags onto the field and plant them. It is not an intimidation thing. It is a statement. The values that we hold dear and believe in are represented by that flag. Loyalty, commitment, sacrifice and dedication are traits that are held in high regard in the military and on a team.”
The Bulldogs just ended a very successful season with a devastating loss. They were outscored but they went down fighting. They showed character. They gave no quarter and asked for none.
The black flags are not about victory or defeat. They are about how one handles victory and defeat. You can tell a lot about a team by how it handles success. You can tell more about a team by how it handles itself after a loss.