One of the more trying aspects of my job as managing editor of a weekly newspaper was to man the ol’ sports desk. All the reports of local sports wound up on my desk, and I had to rewrite it all for publication. I mean, you don’t allow your newspaper to contain such gems as “He done good, I seen it.”
These were all kids’ sports, school sports and recreation leagues. Some of these kids were signed up for sports every day for years on end, in several leagues at once.
So there I sat, reading about “Joey (the Italian Stalion) he kicked a goal and then he (the Italian Stalion) kicked another one too” and fielding phone calls that went, usually, like this: “My dawwwter got the hat trick in Fungus Township Yout’ Soccuh League this weekend and how come it wasn’t in yoah pay-puh???”
I wondered how many of these kids would grow up to be ax murderers.
With very little in the way of pro sports on TV in these days of The Great Lockdown, I have heard of men–it’s almost always men–desperately seeking for some sport, any sport, to watch. They’ll settle for soccer. They’ll settle for Professional Celebrity Co-ed Tetherball. Complete with color commentary by one of the living legends of Celebrity Co-ed Tetherball.
I grew up playing all sorts of sports, although my parents wisely kept me out of Little League. “You’d hate it,” they always said. I also grew up watching sports–but not ALL sports. Just the ones I was really interested in. My mother encouraged me to try to hit like Harmon Killebrew. He was brand-new then, and she was much impressed.
Now, though, I shun sports. I’d jump at the chance to play some softball, I still play basketball when I can–but sit there and watch it on TV? Absolutely no way. Sit there and watch brain-dead millionaires complain about how oppressed they are in America’s Racist No-Justice hell-hole? Not a chance.
I now believe organized sports is terrible for children and should be avoided at all costs. Let them play pick-up games with paper bags for bases. Let them play all day. But by all means keep them out of Precocious Primadonna Land.
You’ll be happy that you did; and so will they.