Thursday, February 5, 2009


Some of us Most of us reached our competitive athletic peak a long time ago. For whatever reason - be it a lack of interest, talent, encouragement or opportunity - we realized that playing a sport at a high and publicized level was not in the cards. However, instead of shutting ourselves off from sports, we found a way to embrace or even live vicariously though those who have excelled.

For this Scribe, the moment came in junior high. It wasn't for a lack of talent so much that it was a combination of a lack of size and an abundance in temper. Sure, the latter may give an image of a hothead on the basketball court or on the diamond towards players, but the temper was typically geared towards coaches who frequently channeled their inner Bob Knight towards a teammate. If there is a common thread in my life, it's the occasional self-righteousness that reared its ugly head when someone was out of line. There are other reasons that stick out, but the last thing that any young kid wants to hear is some non-relative laying into him or her about poor play. Because I would be quick to defend a teammate, knowing that we're doing the heavy lifting, I knew that I would be in the coach's crosshairs.

There were a couple of incidents that bring joy to my heart to this day, though they pretty much sealed my fate in organized sports. If you have ever dealt with a baseball coach who played favorites (or was paid to play favorties) or had a summer basketball league allows their teams to run rampant with ringers, you can see in retrospect how the odds were stacked against you.

With that said, sports is a bit more than something to watch on TV these days. It's the engine that moves this car while knowing that some of the best in the world were given some advantages to build their craft at our expense.

So, when did you realize that you had to hang up the cleats?

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