I have news for you America, your kids are entitled to jack squat. That’s right, you heard me. Everyone born in the U.S. has the Bill of Rights. At a hospital you have a patient’s bill of rights. But other than the basic rights provided to us from our forefathers, you are entitled to nothing. This is still a nation of blue collar workers. There will always be people that have more money than you, have a bigger car than you and people that are just better than you. That is life. Pull up your damn boot straps and work/play your ass off.
Instead I need to listen to stories about people who think they should be “treated” a certain way because they pay taxes, have a college degree or they “know” someone. This attitude is what is bringing our nation down. I would love for the young parents spoiling their children or the college kids with the silver spoons in their mouth to ask a Vietnam Vet what they were entitled to. I would love for them to talk to a 60 year old black man and ask him what he was entitled to in 1950s/60s Mississippi. How about many of those who are no longer with us that had to stare at signs like IRISH NEED NOT APPLY or ITALIANS NOT WELCOME.
This nation is de-evolving into something that makes me want to puke. The kids have their cell phones (ha, I had a quarter and a pay phone), iPods, MP3 players and the Internet. They have an opportunity to be a great generation with tons of information at their finger tips. Yet, they apparently find it more rewarding to find the latest scoop on Miley Cyrus before their friends do.
How am I going to tie this in to sports you might ask? Well last week I had to watch as a sobbing group of U.S. Women softball players collect their silver medals. Why sobbing you might ask? Well, apparently the Americans are too good at the sport and their is no “balance of competition” so they are disbanding the sport as an olympic event. So, if you are keeping score apparently it is a crime to be “too good” at your sport. I will address this f***ed logic again in a minute.
This weekend I am watching my kids play soccer in the Valparaiso, IN Park District. My son and daughter play on the same team. It was a gorgeous day to sit and enjoy a competitive game of middle-school soccer. At some point during the 2nd half a kid makes a phenomonal save and the ball rolls to the right of the goal. He dives in an attempt to cover the ball and he wraps himself around the post. He hit it hard because you could hear the skin on metal when he hit it. Now why the referee didn’t blow his whistle is beyond me but what did the coach from the other team do? “Hurry, get the ball! Kick it, Kick it! Open net!” I nearly shit a gold brick when I heard that come out of his mouth. The parents kind of grumbled about it and then everyone heard the scream from the kid on the ground. It was then the referee blew the whistle. Now, as it turns out the kid was OK but he ended up having some bruised ribs from diving into a metal post. It just drove me nuts that a coach, leading by example, would take advantage of an injured kid. So, it is a crime to be too good but it is OK to steal a goal while a kid is in pain.
That isn’t enough! Well let’s address “being too good” at your sport again. I fire up the old box this morning and see stories about a 9 year old kid who is too good to pitch.
His name is Jericho Scott and he is a pitcher. He plays, or should I say played, for Youth Baseball League of New Haven. This league is a private league for 8, 9, and 10 year olds.
The crime you might ask. Well, he is too good. He throws in the mid-40s and throws strikes. He has great control and kids can’t hit him. As a matter of fact some of the younger kids are scared to step in the batters box with him. So the league officials are disbanding the team and throwing the kid out of the league.
How does Scott feel about that? Well he feels just awful. He thinks it is all his fault that they can’t play baseball. The reality is that it isn’t his fault and I hope he knows that. It is the fault of a handful of parents and a couple of sponsors. They can’t win their beloved championship because Jericho is too damn good.
Jericho’s coach Wilfred Vidro and some of the parents of the boys on his team know why these steps were taken. The defending champs are sponsored by the business of one of the league’s administrators. And what did they do you might ask. Well after Jericho spurned an offer to play for that team to play with a team sponsored by Will Power Fitness, the league shut that undefeated team down.
The league’s attorney, the only one to comment from that camp, says the kid just throws too hard. The league is a developmental league and apparently his great pitching stunts the development of these kids. The other kids also “fear” stepping in against him.
So what are our children learning? Don’t be too good at something you love? Maybe we should develop a socialist system of sports where everyone wins, no one loses and everyone gets to be the hero. Well, I am here to tell you it is bullshit. We need to stop pampering our kids. Stop the entitlement bullshit. They need to do things for themselves. It is OK if they fall and get a scratch. It is OK if they fail. We don’t need to protect them all the time. Fear is OK. The kids need to learn to overcome that. If we continue on this path sometime in the not so distant future a country of hard working young men and women that bust their ass every day and take nothing for granted will surpass our great country. We will be watching all the golds and silvers go to other countries. The Nobel Prizes and other great awards will go to China, Japan and India. The future wars will not be won by us. The question is then what will we be left with. Well, I am not sure about that but maybe we can rally the moms and dads and just suspend EVERYTHING.