Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sports Talk with Jackrabit1*

*With apologies to the guys at "Sports Talk with Craig and John" at KWSN!

Realizing it's been a few weeks since I had a sports-related blogging, I figured I'd ponder a few pernicious points of ponderance (How's THAT for alliteration!)

1) State Legislature to force renewal of State/USD rivalry?

The mavens over at have been buzzing with the rumor that some of the State legislators are floating the idea of a bill to compel South Dakota's two Division-I schools to play each other every year in football and basketball. I don't know if this is true, per se, but if it is, there's a few legislators that really need to re-focus their priorities.

Let's face it... South Dakota is facing a budget crisis that it hasn't seen since the Great Depression. Falling tax revenues, added strain on state resources (i.e. unemployment insurance), and these yahoos are plotzing because State and USD aren't playing each other in tiddlywinks? Government and Sports just don't mix... just ask anyone involved with the Congressional Steroid Hearings.

2) Scale back the playoffs.

The South Dakota High School Activities Association is looking at possibly doing away with the first round of the State Football Playoffs. The Association says that the current system is a burden on some schools who have to take time out to travel, as well as the non-competitiveness of most of the first-round games (which usually end on the "mercy rule").

Instead of cutting back on the number of rounds, per se, why not do away with an 11-man class and a 9-man Class. Right now, almost everyone and their grandma makes the playoffs for 11-AA and some of those teams couldn't even beat a nine-man intramural squad. So why not take the upper half of the 11 man teams (by population) and make that the new 11-A; the bottom half would be 11-B. Same for the nine-man schools.

Frankly, we need to get away from this touchy-feely "every body wins and no score is kept so we can boost our precious little darlings' self-esteem" crap in sports where everyone gets a chance and everyone gets a ribbon. Honestly, how in the HELL does that prepare someone for real life?

Frankly, it's best to say this... Life isn't always going to be fair. You're not always going to get what you want. The true test of your character is not how you deal with your success, but rather how you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and handle the disappointments. It's called "Real Life", folks. The sooner these kids realize that, the more mature and well-adjusted they'll be.

And on that vein...

3) 100-0.

I'm a competitor, I'll make no excuse for that. I like to win. I like to do well. But I've always believed in this following mantra...

"Win with humility. Lose with dignity. Do both with class."

Last week, the sports world was buzzing when Covenant High School in Dallas, Texas played Dallas Academy, a private school that works with students that have learning disabilities and deal with such issues as autism. Covenant won 100-0.

Blowouts are going to happen no matter what. That's a fact of life... just ask my old high school football teammates! But the Covenant coach should have realized he was playing a team that had no chance of even competing and should have adjusted accordingly. In other words, empty your bench, run four-corners offense to take time off the clock and not launch three-pointers to try and get 100 points.

But the "Coach" was unapologetic about his shameful behavior. He was fired. Good.

I think the guy must have been confused, though. Where it says "Do it with class," he must have read it as "Do it like an ass!"

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