Friday, July 17, 2015

Children's Games and Grownups

If you've spent any time watching kids play ballgames, this youtube post will not surprise you.  You already know that, for some adults, youth athletics are blood sports.

This is a recent fight between two New Jersey fathers.  It involves girls' softball, but it just as easily could have been about baseball, football, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, water polo or hockey -- actually, especially hockey.    

Anyway, here's the altercation.

One devoted father drove three hours to confront another father/coach after the first man's daughter was dropped from a traveling softball team.

The angry father threw the first punch and got back worse than he gave.  Both were arrested.

There are several obvious points to be made in this case: 

     -- Parents are protective of their kids, and fathers are particularly touchy about 
        perceived mistreatment of their daughters.

     -- It may be that tempers grow hotter when the stakes are higher.  Remember, this
        involved a traveling team, not an intra-city rec league group.   
              (Or maybe not: Consider what Henry Kissinger said about college spats: 
        "University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.")
     -- Cathartic as the fisticuffs may have been for the two dads, their daughters
         almost certainly were mortified with embarrassment.  The incident will be
         much discussed and laughed about when they return to school in the fall.

    -- We must learn to assume always that our actions are being caught on camera.  
        This video may get almost as many views as the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.  
        Floyd and Manny were smart enough to nail down their economic packages 
        before they began throwing punches.   

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