In a society overrun by softies and “sensies,” especially when it comes to raising our youth and particularly when it comes that youth’s involvement in sports, the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker has taken a stand.
His boys brought home trophies for participating in sports. Harrison not only is sending them back, but took to social media to let everyone know about it.
This kumbaya-ish silliness jumped the shark decades ago as parents started this de-evolution of toughening up their children and preparing their kids for the obstacles that life possibly could present. Concerned, ever concerned for their “right here, right now” feelings WITH EVERYTHING, parents pushed for the ill-conceived, all-inclusive craziness in what amounts to a competitive genre.
Not for nothing, but competing is a part of life, and learning how to handle success and failure is part of that. Creating this idiotic (non-)sense of achievement for youngsters by their mere presence at an event or a practice or a game does nothing for the development of an individual, and if you need research shoved down your throat to grasp that you’ve either led a pampered, incredibly charmed and sheltered life or are a control-freak worry wart. Or you’re not a parent.
I’m all for encouraging kids, and people of all ages, to get involved in things. Volunteer work. Charity work. Sports. Anything. There is an inner-person pat-on-the-back that any person could, if not should, experience with that … from themselves. But to be outwardly “honored” for just showing up … well, I can’t think of a more symbolic display of bad parenting/teaching/coaching. I’d rather see a kid endure a Mitch Williams tirade. OK, maybe that’s a bit much. But at least the former MLB reliever was “guilty” of promoting some competitive drive. Too much of it his own, mind you. Still …
There is no redeeming value or quality to championing participation as “factoring” in a performance-based system, that it’s some sort of award-worthy achievement. Even at the youngest levels – sorry, parents, this is reality – it MATTERS what a kid does on the field, court, ice, etc., with regard to what goes on … as well it should. That is how kids learn … if playing sports is their thing or not. At worst, it opens their eyes and possibly opens another door to another endeavor, and teaches them that life is not going to give them a trophy merely for living it.
LOOKING THE PART: Considering how involved he is with charities, you’d figure Temple University’s Matt Rhule was growing a beard for some cause. If not, doesn’t matter. The facial-hair growth has given the Owls’ football coach a more mature, tougher appearance that just might be appropriate as the head of a program seemingly about to enter another realm. Can’t be looking the nice guy when you’re trying to beat the big boys, if not become one of ’em.
SAY IT AIN’T SO: Apparently, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s marriage to supermodel Gisele Bundchen is on the rocks after some recent activities, including the former’s bizarre bromance-induced plane flight with Ben Affleck and the nanny for Affleck’s kids. Whatever … it just has to be so disconcerting for the geeks who have raised perception of Brady’s performance on-field for what he has off-field.
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com