I came across an article on ESPN.com that epitomizes the title of this post.
The article is about a 9-year old kid who’s being disallowed to further pitch on his little league team because he is “too good”. They say the kid throws 40 mph – which doesn’t sound like much, but apparently for a 9-year old is fast enough to have his fellow little leaguers defecating pop tarts and pissing Capri Sun in their polyester uniforms.
Even though he has yet to hit a batter, parents are fearing for their kids’ safety. Now…I know everything is relative…but…that is some bitch shit. Straight up. I played baseball for 10+ years. Step your ass up to the plate and grow some huevos. How can we expect kids to persevere when their very own parents are afraid to let them?
Is it just me or have kids (and even parents – especially the parents) gotten a lot softer over the past decade? There are even states that impose “mercy rules” on certain high school or pee-wee leagues. I know this may sound borderline asinine, but getting your ass whooped is an integral part of becoming a grown ass man (or woman). You shouldn’t shelter kids from adversity. Do that and you’ll end up making PBJs for the future Unabomber or cooking up a mean plate of scrambled eggs and hasbrowns for the future Eric Rudolph.
What is up with these parents? It’s like they want to protect their kids from reality. The real world isn’t merciful and forgiving – it’s unrelenting and challenging. The real world will slap the shit out of you – and laugh afterwards for good measure. In your face.
Ain’t no coddling or holding hands going on. It may seem like I have a pessimistic outlook on life and the real world, but it’s quite the opposite. I’m actually about as optimistic a cat as you may ever meet, but momma ain’t raise no rotli eating brown fool. I’ve persevered enough to appreciate and differentiate the good from the bad, to discern the ugly from the fugly.
As far as getting embarassed in sports, I know all about that. Please do believe I know all about that. For Scientology’s sake, I played ball at Clarkston High School. Of course I know about being shamed athletically into submission. We had our moments where we played like gahbage…like an immensely putrid pile of kushasha. But…we persevered and moved on to the next game.
I remember back when I played on the junior varsity team at Clarkston, we had a game against Towers High School (if memory serves me right) where we lost by 30 runs (at least). 30 runs! They scored a friggin’ run for every day of the month…and some. I’ll never forget what my coach uttered to an assistant coach in the dugout after the game: “This is the worst fucking team I’ve ever coached.” And you know what? He was probably right. We stunk up the joint like month old tofu. But you know what else? I learned from that. Believe you me, when I was out on that field, I didn’t want the ump to call the game. I didn’t give a shit that we were getting our green and gold culos handed to us. There is a certain kind of honor in taking an ass whoopin’.
Sometimes, you gotta feel the pain in order to feel the joy. The more difficult the bad times, the more satisfying the good times. Like I always tell my friends when they’re hungry….the longer you wait for the food (and the hungrier you get), the better the food will taste. The more satiable your palate will become. Often this advice is met with a smattering of 4-letter words and a crescendo of sighs, but I like to think it resonates a little.
I don’t exactly know what kind of parent I will be…but I know what kind I want to be. And that ain’t the kind who’s going to spoil or baby. I’m pretty damn sure that my wife will be the good cop while I’ll be the bad cop – and I think that system could work pretty well. My wife will be calling my kids “honey” and “sweetie” while I’m giving them the The People’s Eyebrow (you gotta click on this link) and calling them “jabronis” and “candy asses”.
I sure as hell hope I don’t contribute to the ongoing wussification of America.