Thursday, October 24, 2013

How DARE YOU Be Better Than My Son!!

Having been on teams that have gone entire seasons without winning games--and having once finished dead last in a golf tournament, 12-strokes behind second-to-last--I can tell you that losing sucks.  And getting blown out sucks even worse.  It's humiliating and even emasculating.  But when it happens you have one of two options  You can choose the path of strength and go back into the gym, the weight room, the practice field or the driving range and get better.  Or you can choose the path of weakness and just give up.  But now there is a third chioce in today's "nobody is responsible for anything bad that happens to them" culture--you can blame your opponents for being a bunch of bullies.

That is the path one parent in Texas chose when an undefeated football powerhouse ran roughshod over his or her son's team last Friday 91-0.  A complaint was filed alleging the opposing coach engaged in bullying behavior by allowing the losing team to be embarrased in such a way by the margin of defeat.  And under Texas state law, time had to be wasted to actually investigate the complaint and exonerate the coach.

By all accounts, the team that "ran it up" wasn't even trying hard to do it.  They ran just 31 offensive plays--and scored touchdowns on ten of them.  They also returned three punts for touchdowns.  The starters were out early in the first half, the second string guys were done by halftime and a bunch of freshman and sophomores mopped up in the second half (still scoring points). 

If your wondering where the parent may have gotten the idea that physically overwhelming a less-talented opponent is "bullying", you just need to check the Texas education definition of "bullying":

"Bullying occurs when a person is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength."

To that parent, his or her son was "repeatedly exposed" to more "power and strength" from the opposing players.  And because he had "difficulty defending" against that superior talent, he had to endure the "unwanted, negative action" of repeated touchdowns.  If I was a wrestler or a wrestling coach, I would worry about the future of my sport since it is entirely predicated upon "an imbalance of power or strength".

This case just further exemplifies the societal trend toward punishing individual excellence.  Why should the coach of the winning team tell his kids not to try their hardest when they are out on the field?  Why should the second, third and fourth string players have to kneel on the ball, or go half-speed so as "not to be better" than their opponents?  And as the player on the losing team, how are you going to gauge your own improvement in performance if the guy across the line from you isn't being allowed to challenge you to be better?

If the parents of the "bullied" football players can't accept the fact that their kids aren't as good at something than another kid, maybe they should move into something less competitive--like glee club.  They let everybody play the lead character there don't they?

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