Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Problem With Winning

When I was a kid, many moons ago, we were told that "winning isn't everything, it's how you play the game".

I played many games of baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and tennis. I ran my heart out on the track and threw the javelin as far as I could. I loved the high jump and triple jump.

I lived, at times, to play anything that someone wanted to play. I was on a winning team....once. I just loved to play. I had fun. I learned to lose gracefully, yet hate it just the same. Losing that is. I always loved to play, and played my heart out to win.

I'm not sure what t-ball coach Mark R. Downs Jr. of Dunbar, Pennsylvania learned growing up. It surely wasn't how to be a good sport, or any other type of sport for that matter.

To pay someone to take one of his 8 year old players out of the game by injuring him, because the player is mentally disabled, is about as screwed up as a coach can be. To do it for any reason, to me is as low as you can go. Hell, just to keep a player out of the game by saying no is against the rules and a crock of shit.

I can't imagine the fear that this, so called, coach must of instilled in his young players.

How the hell are they supposed to develop into responsible adults if they have to live in fear of being physically injured because the coach doesn't want them to play?

Winning isn't everything. It can be the most joyous experience in the world. It can also be empty and the most hollow feeling known. Something like the soul of Mark R. Downs Jr.

This person doesn't just need to be barred from coaching and given a mediocre fine. He needs to spend some time in the big house. Maybe then he'll think more about the 'game' that sport is, and not so much on a hollow victory.


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