Monday, January 26, 2009

This Just In: Life Can Be A Cruel Beotch

Have you ever felt that forces in your life just reared back and kicked you in the crotch over and over again for a period of time? Yeah, me too. It's one of life's wonderful learning experiences: things don't always work out the way they should.

It's something I learned as a child when I was the youngest of the neighborhood kids who played sports in my front yard. I was the one who would be victimized by the older, taller kids whenever we played a game
. One doesn't expect a first grader to be able to tackle a fifth grader in football. Yet there I was getting trucked across a sidewalk or beaten deep.

And I coped with it.

That stuff prepares you for a life where you might have a boss who hates you for no apparent reason or a co-worker who you swear finds a new way to piss you off every day.

Of course, helicopter parents today have this vacuous idea that their kids simply can not suffer any sort of injustice. This translates to the sports arena as well. Any sort of blowout is a travesty on the game and the work of Satan himself.

The latest uproar comes out of Dallas, where the Covenant School of Dallas girl's basketball team crushed Dallas Academy's girls 100-0.

That is an ass-kicking of the highest order. It is also one that got the Covenant coach fired for running up a score. And the Covenant school is seeking a forfeit because the school is embarrassed that its team won by so much.

This is where I have a problem. I realize 100-0 is a soul-crushing defeat and that Dallas Academy has a much smaller and less talented team than Covenant (duh).

It's one thing if Covenant was playing pressure defense and running the full playbook just to embarrass a lesser team or to brag that they got to 100 points, but the since fired Covenant coach says his team played with honor and was never intent on sticking it to Dallas Academy. They just kept playing.

What do you tell your players during a blowout victory?
Stop playing?
Don't make those shots?

There is nothing a coach should be required to do in these situations except put in the bench warmers and slow down the game so the clock runs faster. With no mercy rule, scores like 100-0 will sometimes happen (okay, maybe not quite this bad). That doesn't mean the winning team is a bunch of villains who punch little kittens on their way out the door.

There is no reason to ask for a forfeit. It won't make the Dallas Academy girls feel better. They don't want a game handed to them in the record books. They know what they saw on the court. Plus, no one will make fun of the Dallas Academy team for being on the ass-end of a blowout like that.

Why?

Because nearly everyone has been kicked around like that at some point in their life. We know what it's like to be frustrated and to feel helpless. We've all been the Dallas Academy girl's basketball team at some point in our life. Hell, with the recession, you may feel like them right now.

Yet, we cope.

If anything, the losing coach can use this unfortunate game as a lesson for his kids. Teach them to keep fighting even when things are terrible. At the very least, they will earn respect from the winning team. They'll also have the experience of trying to build on a bad moment, which is something we could all use work on.

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