The middle class town of Aberdeen, Maryland has been hit by tough times like the rest of the economy. Unemployment is too high, businesses are closing and job growth is bleak. At Aberdeen High School the budget is tight and the football field’s scoreboard has been in long need of repair. It’s currently missing lights and in need of a new paint job. So Vikings linebackers E.J. and Erin Henderson (who most everyone knows are brothers) came forward with an offer to their old high school: They’d be willing to donate $20k of the necessary $50k to repair the scoreboard with one string attached – The football field would have to be named after the Hendersons.
The county board went back and forth on the Hendersons offer, but ultimately rejected it because in their opinion it’d be best not to have any family names on public school property. Recently the board contemplated renaming the field after Marine Lance Corporal Patrick Ryan Adle who was killed in action in Iraq and decided not to go in that direction. Aberdeen High School is also the former high school of baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr and his name is nowhere to be found on school property either.
What’s most sad about this situation is no one really wins. The school board looks nonsensical for rejecting a sizable donation during tough times. Then again, one could point a finger at the Hendersons to say that donations should be given from the goodness of ones heart with no strings attached and how they may be more interested in a self-promoting legacy over helping out their old high school. We’ll simply leave it up to our readers to form their own opinions as to who is more at fault here.
Moving forward the Hendersons focus is obviously on the Oakland Raiders and the rest of the season. Hopefully they both play well. We’re certainly in need of some good Vikings news.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig