The gloves are off…I’m cracking sports in the jaw! Part 1 of many

There was a time when sports was fun. You could go to an amateur event, youth game, a college game even a professional game and you enjoyed watching the players compete, the fans were for the most part civil and you walked away thinking, “I can’t wait to go to another game.”

More and more sports is leaving a really bad impression on my brain and a jumble of knots in the pit of my stomach. On every level, adults are screwing it up for kids. What was once an opportunity to teach kids about the spirit and camaraderie of sports, the thrill of competing and how sports carry over to life has turned into a forum for adults to self-promote and advance their own agendas.

Instead of teaching kids the values inherent in good sportsmanship, hard-work and perseverance, we’re teaching them to be cheats, poor sports and in some cases people are teaching kids to be absolute jerks! (I’d use stronger words but I know my audience and they wouldn’t want me to.)

I know I’ve mentioned this on occasion before and I apologize but you may have to suffer through me singing the same song many more times to come. I just don’t get it. Why are there so many people who get into sports simply for selfish reasons?

What corner of America does not have the guy who coaches youth sports so that his kid can play the ‘premier’ positions. You know him well and he comes in many shapes, sizes and amounts of ‘jerkness’. They watch a few re-runs of Coach, rattle off some Vince Lombardi quotes, throw a few Bobby Knight fits and suddenly he or she is a coach who lifts up, brags and praises his kid while he demeans and degrades the rest of his players.

Hey you! The guy with the space between your ears! Sooner or later you’re going to realize that your sacred cow has spoiled milk. If you’re really a coach than teach ALL the boys and girls how to play and let their talents decide where the chips will fall.

I call them "Prom Pro's", the Uncle Rico's of the world. (Photo from the movie, Napoleon Dynamite)

Or what about this guy – The one who is a former high school star. He may be a one-time high school quarterback who somehow thinks that his dad or his last name or worse yet, his bank account had nothing to do with the fact that he ended up being quarterback over the kid who had more talent than he did in 10th grade. I like to call these guys, “Prom Pro’s”, the Uncle Rico’s of the world. The dudes that can’t let go of their former glory so they have to continue living the dream through their kids. They have the strange idea that their spawn received the “slam dunk” or “runs like the wind” DNA even when it is apparent that the kid was born with paddles for feet and can’t tell the difference between a play book and a Dr. Suess book.

Yo! Legends of the Fallen. I think your sideline pass has been revoked. Get a life! Make it about the kid, not about you! Go sit down and leave the real coaching to Norm Chow.

In stark contrast to the Uncle Rico-type is what I refer to as the Shaolin Soccer coach. The one who was the chess club or debate captain in school and tried to form a Revenge of the Nerds Club to oust the jocks from power. He’s the guy who still carries a deep crevasse on his shoulder because he didn’t score any touchdowns in high school, he only kept scores and stats. Somewhere between 2nd Grade and his 2nd Masters Degree this guy decides he’s going to show the jocks of the world who is really the boss by taking as many coaching jobs at the local rec as possible.

Though we love your service, you’re still confused by the “spread offense” and the “triangle defense” – Two different sports, two very different approaches, one very confused group of kids who don’t know why their coach keeps crying every time they form a huddle.

Finally, there are the fans…I’m going to leave that one for another day because this tirade is going on too long and frankly, I have a lot more to draw up on my whiteboard and I’m running out of dry erase pens. So for now let this be another lesson that goes unheeded by the thick headed. DO NOT talk to me about sports if you know what’s best for you. Otherwise you’re going to end up with a massive headache, just like the one I experienced today writing this post and thinking about sore losers.

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