The Press Box for September 25
Sports is a big word. It encompasses a lot of things, and while we generally think of an athletic event as sports, the word has much more meaning. What does the word “sports” mean to you?
It’s a simple question. And yet the answer could be as complex as a puzzle. Still, the answer can be quite simple.
Everyone has a different opinion of what the word really means. One kid could be a good sport but not an athlete, another could be a great athlete, but a terrible sport. Fans can be good sports or bad sports, depending on a number of circumstances.
I like to think back to what sports meant to me in the days of playing neighborhood ball. We would gather somewhere in town choose up sides and go at one another like it was the real thing. Often there would be disagreements and an occassional fist fight, but for the most part it was loads of fun. There was one unwritten rule we all abided by, you don’t go home and tell mommy and daddy what happened, even with a bloody nose or black eye.
We honed our skills in the summer time on the outdoor basketball court, and in the empty fields around town tossing the old pigskin. Usually it was a rubber football with rubber laces. Those balls took a lot of abuse from the pavement and normally didn’t last to long. However it seems to me everything involved sports of some type. Whether it was an occassional trip to the ball park or watching from the sidelines as the older guys took the field for fast pitch softball.
As time passed it meant a seat on the couch every Sunday afternoon to watch the big game on T.V. For those that didn’t play, your memories may be shaped differently, but that is not to take away from the fact that you were there. You were watching. You were a part of it all.
Many times I think back to the playing days in Pop Warner and Little League. Nothing can take away those memories, thoughts of old coaches, ex-teammates, the opposition, who won and lost, and just how great some guys were will always stay with me.
Going beyond that, you may think of those high-school memories where you found a little glory. It’s often overheard that “this is what is wrong with the game today…”. And you will overhear someone spewing to you reasons as to why the sport you have grown to love or appreciate is now suddenly bad, but there is a certain saying regarding opinions and how everyone has one.
I will give you my opinion of what has gone wrong with sports today! So, really, what does the word “sports” mean to you? It truly is a simple question. It can be difined in multiple ways, but let’s stay within the context of sporting events and participation.
Because without sporting events we have no real reason to love sports. Without outstanding athletes we have no reason to love sports.
Without the desire for our local teams to thrive, we have no reason to love sports. Without the opportunity to catch the big fish we have no reason to love the sport of fishing and the same with hunting. Everyone wants to bag the big one.
So what has gone wrong? Society has changed and with it change has come to sports. My opinion is to much parent involvement and to much rewarding when not deserving. I was called out the other day by a parent because “I was biased towards certain kids,” and that’s fine, however it’s not true and it’s just another example of bad sports. I believe sports for many have become a way to live their past through their children instead of watching their children on the field bring smiles to brighten up their day. Sports can be good medicine for your children just don’t overdose them.
To me, sports is one of the most real things about life. They can bring out the best, and worst, in people. The achievements of a player, or team, live on long after the game is played. Sports are a connection between generations. They are a bridge that allows father and son to share something they otherwise may never have. They allow for people with nothing in common outside of sports to share an equal footing.
Sports is a major part of how I conduct my day and my time, it’s a way of life for me.
This past week was a flurry of sports activity from golf, cross country, soccer, volleyball and football, there was something happening each day. I tried to squeeze something in each evening and from home was called a sports freak.
My desire for area athletes is for them to be successful while staying injury free, it’s for them to play to the best of their ability and listen to their coaches first and foremost. To be kind to one another on and off the field of play and to help others who need advice or instruction. Sports are for all people young and old, they are God given activities that are to be played in the legal limits of the games without interference from outside influence. If you understand sports, please refrain from demeaning coaches, advisers, other kids or even your own. By doing those things you are the problem with sports.
- Congratulations to Silver Knights senior, Mark Rucker as he broke the Tyler Consolidated career rushing yardage record held by Matt Wright in 2004 of 2,871 earlier this season against Doddrige County. Rucker now has 3,136 career rushing yards with seven more games to play. The Silver Knights set a school scoring record on Friday night in the win over Calhoun County with 74 points, breaking the old mark of 66 set back in 2002 against Ritchie County.
- Congratulations also goes out to Paden City head football coach Zach Heasley on his first victorty as a coach. Heasley has worked extremely hard since taking the job this summer and has done an excellent job of molding 17 kids into a decent football team who is getting better with each outing. They stand at 1-3 as of now, but could easily be 2-2. After Friday I look for them to be 2-3. Great job coach!
- Another athlete for Tyler Consolidated who needs recognized this week is quarterback Gage Huffman who had a career night on Friday against Calhoun with six touchdowns rushing, passing for another and ammassing over 400 yards. What a great performance for the senior on Homecoming weekend.