Monday, August 24, 2020

On Sportsmanship

 I usually spend most of my weekends at youth travel baseball tournaments. Do I enjoy it? Well, I enjoy watching the kids play. They seem to have fun, they are hanging out with their friends, playing sports. I have always believed that sports are needed for development. Sports get kids used to adversity, failure, success, social interaction, and a bunch of other things that I believe are essential for overall well being and creating a quality person.

What I do not enjoy are the coaches or parents. I am sure that most of you have seen videos of parents attacking umpires, parents fighting, kids fighting, screaming matches and the like.

 Let me tell you, it's all true. 

This weekend, my 14 year old son played in a baseball tournament. When his team was in the field, the other team hurled insults at the pitcher, yelled and screamed at the pitcher the whole inning. The umpire stopped the game and told the coach of the other team to not to yell when the pitcher goes into his windup. The ump was trying to establish at least a modicum of sportsmanship. And then the opposing coach actually said, "There is no rule against that! " and his assistant actually got out the rule book and said, "There is no rule against it, KEEP IT UP!" and the team kept screaming and insulting my son's team. Seriously.  

And it kept going and going until the parents from each team started arguing with each other, the coaches got into it with the parents, the one coach pointed his finger in our coaches face, and then both head coaches got kicked out. And the kids just followed the ADULT'S lead and they all started acting like babies and infants. 

I just wanted to leave and the parents are asking me to escort our coach to his car so I could break it up if they started to brawl. But I knew that they wouldn't brawl. The loudmouth from the other team was just that, all talk and fake ass bravado. What an example he set for his players! He must be so proud teaching the kids the fundamentals of being a jackass. 

I do not like any of this, and never have liked any of it. I despise the shit talking, the insults, the me me me me attitude of the athletes. And it is everywhere now, beginning with the pros and college athletes. Maybe because I have always been around dudes that , if you opened your mouth to them , they would punch you in the face. No posturing or HOLD ME BACK HOLD ME BACK bull, just BAM! Or it would usually go something like this:

What the hell did you just say to me? BAM!

Now, it is seen as normal, the way that it is done.  And it is in every sport.

In basketball, when one player claps his hand and sends chalk flying (chalk is needed? Is he deadlifting?), he is separating himself from his team he is saying I I I I ME ME ME. Is it okay if everyone on the TEAM does that stupidity? Why not? Oh, I know, because on this team, there is YOU and then there is everyone else.

Let me tell you, all of it is in bad taste, all of it is poor sportsmanship. All of it; the dancing (yes, men and boys dancing at a sporting event), the insults, the yelling, the cheering when a kid drops a fly ball, all of it. And the funny thing is, it has become so normal that most people think that , oh it is just part of the game. Yeah,  we are so into it, so fired up. No, it is not, never was meant to be a part of the game. What one is supposed to do is act like a gentleman and when you do something great on the field, act as though you expected to do it. People will notice you if you are good enough.  If they don't notice you, then you aren't good enough. Go practice your cheers some more.

In football, I grew up watching dudes like John Riggins and Earl Campbell run over someone and then hand the ball to the ref. Here ya go, buddy.

Mike Trout hits a home run and doesn't say a word. He is the best around. And he is the coolest, too.

Can you imagine Ted Williams dancing after a home run or flipping his bat? He flew fighter jets in Korea. No, no bravado for him, because he was a man. A real man. A base hit is great but when you landed your plane while it was on fire and you couldn't eject because your were too tall so you landed it and calmly walked out if it like it was just another day at the office, a base hit means just that, a base hit. He probably  wouldn't kneel for the Flag either, because he would never ever ever disrespect the country that he almost died defending, but that's another story.

I have always thought that beating someone's ass on the field, dominating them, and walking off after shaking hands was the coolest way to do things, but it is not seen as that way today.

When they wanted to put a statue of Ray Lewis in Baltimore, he said that he wanted it to depict his pregame dance instead of him making a tackle. A sure sign that the apocalypse is upon us.

When a football player makes a sack or even a ho hum tackle, they separate themselves from everyone and dance the night away. If Dick Butkus would have done that, there would have been delay of game penalties, he made so many tackles. Kids practice their celebration dances. Give me strength. What happened to substance? 

I got so fed up with it one time that I decided to watch bull riding. Now they won't do all that crap, right? Wrong . I turned it on and one was gyrating like Shakira on meth and doing a back flip after riding the bull. 

And the youth coaches? Emphasis on YOUTH? Most likely, they never played at a high level, maybe the played a little high school ball, most likely they were the manager of the team, the water boy or the kid who washed the jocks. SO they don't get it, they don't get how to act, and they set an awful example for their players, but the catch is that with all the college and pros doing it, they think it's normal. Coaches in the pro's let it happen because the players run the show. Coaches don't want to piss off the star because then they would set a precedent that would be overall great for sports and society, but they are way too cowardly to do it.

Hell, man. Be different from everyone else today. Tell your players that we will be great sportsmen, that they will hustle and have fun and all the other crap just takes way from your game, your focus.  Because after the game, nobody will remember the silly little bitch chant that the idiot coach taught them to mock the other team, they will just remember that you kicked ass and walked off like it was just another game, a game that you expected to win. 

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.