Football and Society

Kunk Fu Zoby Kung Fu Zu
While watching the evening news yesterday, I saw two stories which encapsulated a major divide in America today. Both stories dealt with football in North Texas.

The first story was about a weekend high school football game in which the one team (Aledo) beat their opponents (Western Hills) something like 90-0. This enraged a parent of one of the Western Hills players who officially complained of “bullying.” Now losing a football game 90-0 is certainly embarrassing. It could be considered humiliating. It was certainly a shellacking. But “bullying”?[pullquote]Parents had determined that after receiving awards for simply showing up, young players had come to have unrealistic expectations of getting something for nothing. Furthermore these children had developed a false sense of accomplishment.[/pullquote]

Unfortunately, in the state of Texas, any such complaint must be acknowledged and then investigated by the school involved. As a result, public time and money will be spent on an inane complaint, which no “adult” would have taken seriously in the first place.

The second story was about a private football league, which appears to be run along the same line as the Pop Warner league. After many years of presenting trophies to all participants, this league has decided that from today forward, trophies will be awarded only to teams which actually win their divisions. They may make an exception for preschoolers.

During the TV interviews with those involved with this decision, the coaches who spoke said they had decided that they needed to teach their children true life lessons, such as the need for constant effort in order to succeed. Parents had determined that after receiving awards for simply showing up, young players had come to have unrealistic expectations of getting something for nothing. Furthermore these children had developed a false sense of accomplishment.

After seeing both reports, it came to me that I had just seen in these stories a perfect example of present day America.

EverybodyWinsOn the one hand, there is a pansy father who, instead of telling his son, that if he doesn’t want to get his butt kicked like that, then he needs to reach down inside and bring out his best effort. The father should also have probably said that sometimes life isn’t particularly “fair” and a person can still lose, even given his best efforts.

On the other hand, there is a group of concerned parents who are actively involved in their children’s lives, who have determined they have been coddling their offspring and creating a false picture of the world. Instead of bemoaning the situation, they have taken action and decided they will no longer buy into the false notion that children are fragile and must be manipulated by the dishonest meme that “you are all special” and that it is not important how hard one tries or what talent one has. You will all get rewarded.

I only hope the second story is the way things are drifting. And I can close on this encouraging note. The students at Western Hills were asked if their team had been bullied and everyone said something like, “No, we just got our butts kicked. Aleto beats everyone by at least 69-70 points.” So, at least the yutes at Western Hills have not bought into the victimhood motif, at least as regards football. • (1557 views)

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12 Responses to Football and Society

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I read about the first incident on Townhall or HotAir, and the thought of suing the winners for “bullying” was ridiculous unless one could actually demonstrate that they really behaved viciously (which is hard when talking about a contact sport).

    As for the matter of excessive trophies, I’ve noticed that sort of thing in many places. In some SF convention masquerade contests, there are almost as many awards as there are participants. It long ago occurred to me that this was in some ways even worse for the losers, since it meant that all those others were better (which isn’t so bad when there are fewer winners), while also somewhat demeaning the winners.

    • Kung Fu Zu says:

      The Aleto football coach told someone that he had put in his second team early in the game. And he put in third stringers sometime around 50-0, if I recall correctly.

      While I watched the report yesterday, it hit me that the excessive awarding of trophies was not only politically correctness run amok. It is in fact a perfect example of one of Marx’s dicta, “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” I am not saying everyone giving out trophies for nothing is a communist. But I do believe that the people who started this were probably very left in their political beliefs and saw this as a good way to undermine the belief in competition and that in order to be rewarded one must do something to merit the reward.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Football is generally under attack by the Left. It won’t be long until Faba is telling us how the very existence of that sport is suddenly some kind of sign of intolerance.

      As Rush or somebody noted, in terms of the number of people getting seriously injured, football rates way in the back. But it’s become the cause célèbre of the weenie crowd. And I think this is so because football is almost exclusively a male sport. And in an age where everything masculine is being ridiculed and degraded, we can’t have that.

      So this is the real reason behind the focus on this subject. There are those who simply want to pansify everything because they don’t have the grit to do it themselves.

      Well, neither do I. I’m more of a tennis, golf, or baseball pansy. Football is for real men. And I accept that. Being a reasonably self-aware human being, I don’t have to sit back and demonize people who are engaging in a form of excellence that is beyond me. Instead, I can enjoy that excellence for what it is and root from the sidelines. I have no need to try to pansify it, to try to drag that excellence back down to my level so that I don’t feel so bad.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Mr. Kung, I’m giving you this for that fine article.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Probably in Kindergarten — first grade at the latest — it makes some sense to have more of a “you’re all a winner” attitude. And not for the sake of “self-esteem” but because, developmentally, it’s a little early yet to go all Gung-ho on competition. Up to some age, when your child brings you a Crayon drawing that looks like just a mess of squiggles, it is appropriate to say, “Oh, how nice. I’m going to hang that on the refrigerator.”

    But at some point compassion requires an adult (if he or she is going to be an adult) to offer constructive criticism. Maybe little Johnny is the next Rembrandt but he’ll never get there if you keep telling him that mediocre efforts always deserve a gold star.

    The “Progressive” Left is inherently a feelings-based nanny state. Their desire truly is for Utopia. They want to blot out the inherent aspects of reality such as competition, true reward, and true failure. Yeah, maybe it sucks that we’re not all born with the same talent, but that’s just the point. We don’t know what talents we have until pushed. And you’re damn sure to ensure mediocrity if those talents are never discovered because you treat everyone like a delicate marshmallow that will break at the first sign of failure.

    There’s also a decided feminine aspect to this Liberal fascism of the gold-star-for-everyone mindset. And let me state for the record, I don’t hate women. But women, without the influence of men, are a disaster (and vice versa). One of the greatest recent lies is “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” Men are needed if only because women, left to their own devices, would put the ultimate emphasis on nobody’s “feelings” being hurt until we all were packed safe inside a plastic bubble. Men tend to stress other things such as the need to bite the bullet, to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, and to not be such a big baby.

    And it’s not that feelings don’t matter. But all this gold-star-for-everything bullcrap is entirely about feelings. And there are, of course, women (such as Sarah Palin) who aren’t complete female dumb-asses. One could say that the fault lies less with females, per se, than with the girly-man agenda of the “Progressive” Left. But either way, men do need to step up and provide some balance to this truly childish and ridiculous “feelings”-based culture that is emasculating everything it touches and robbing us of the fulfillment of our god-given talents.

    • Ron Ron says:

      Our closest relatives are bonobos and chimps. Bonobos are make love not war practitioners. Chimps make war to get sex and food.

      They’ve both been around, like us, for a few million years. Bonobos share sex and food with everybody. Mothers even allow others to hold their babies. They rarely fight, preferring to make out instead. Chimps fight, hoard food, and eat alone.

      I think we were like bonobos for 99% of our existence.But civilization has turned us down the chimp path where the end game doesn’t look very pretty at all.

      Masculinity may have helped build a few pyramids and nuclear weapons, but give me that girly-man agenda please.

      Is it the one right beside the homosexual agenda. (-;

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Ron, you’re a committed Leftist. I get that. But there is no shortage of places out there where you can espouse your religion.

        StubbornThings is a site meant for the discussion of subjects from the conservative/old-style-libertarian point of view. Its purpose is not to be a place to provide an opportunity to Leftists-on-Jihad to enact their ritual contrarianism.

        Please consider finding another site to work your Jihad.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        That’s a good one. I remember reading once that a study of skulls at a Peking man site seemed to indicate that someone had broken into them, no doubt looking for the brains (as I believe some tribes still do to monkeys). I don’t think the attackers were zombies. On what basis do you claim that humans were peaceniks for 99% of their existence? Because that’s what you wish were true? But if you want to go find some primitive hunter-gatherer tribe — in the Amazon jungle or New Guinea or wherever — that still lives in the primitive life you praise, be our guest and move there. (By the way, are you aware that some anthropologists have estimated that the murder rate is actually higher in such cultures? You see, if you have a small tribe with a thousand members, a murder rate of one every 5 years would be the equivalent of 1500 murders a year in New York City — which is considerably greater than the actual number.)

  4. faba calculo says:

    I’ve always heard that, even in the pros, it’s considered bad sportsmanship to pile on the score after victory is essentially assured. I’m not a big sports fan, so I’ve never understood this. Shouldn’t every team look to be the one to break the old record of worst drubbing?

    Still, given how serious a charge bullying is becoming, it goes far beyond a mere charge of poor sportsmanship.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Particularly since they put in their lesser players to keep from embarrassing the losers too badly. It’s hard to imagine that it would be any better seeing them blatantly not exert themselves. That wouldn’t be bullying, but it would certainly be very embarrassing.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Speaking of football, those were some very good games over the weekend. The Seahawks were routed, but the Cowboys-Green Bay and the Steelers-Chiefs games were very competitive and came down right to the end.

    I was rooting for the Cowboys, although I have nothing against Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is a force to be reckoned with and it’s hard to imagine the Packers not demolishing Atlanta.

    Either Houston has a better defense than many suspect or Brady & Company just had an off day. Still, it’s difficult to imagine that the Steelers can upend the favorite. But they are the Steelers. And their kicker just set a playoff record by kicking 6 field goals…what composed all of the Steelers’ points in that game.

    Look for a Packers-Patriots matchup in the Super Bowl. But that’s putting the cart before the horse. I’m sure the Packers will get there but the Steelers at least have a chance with their defense.

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