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I guess I’m a cold hearted bastard. I’ve always felt that you step into the ring, onto the field, out on the court; you put up or shut up. Life’s kinda like that; you win, you lose. But you play. Or you don’t; it’s that simple. Or is it?

At least everybody gets one.....

At least everybody gets one…..

What should have been done to protect the tender sensibilities of the Bloomington High School Girls basketball team? Maybe they need to be taught from the beginning that if you’re not good enough to be on the floor, then you should stay home. Or maybe you should just walk away and give up halfway into the game. Why is there so much shame in losing and no shame in giving up? Or for making excuses? Or no shame in crying from the sidelines after you’ve lost, whimpering that you shouldn’t have been allowed to lose by that much.

I just watched a most improbable comeback this weekend, with the Seahawks trailing at 19-7 with just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter. I didn’t see Russell Wilson head to the locker room after he threw his fourth interception. Those icky mean spirited Packers kept picking off his passes, rushing him hard on every pass play. He should have called it a day, asked the NFL for some relief from the pass rush. It’s only fair. Of course, the Patriots came back from not just one, but two fourteen point deficits to beat the Ravens the previous Sunday. How many chances did the NFL have to call that game over and just send everyone home?

It’s quite telling that the Hawks of Arroyo Valley High school had already won four games by impressive margins, 98, 81, 74 and 73 points to be exact. And Bloomington had already lost one game in the season by 91 points. Seems like there’s quite a disparity in the league and it’s not the fault of the girls or the coach of Arroyo High school.

To counter this imbalance, someone must pay the price and it’s coach Michael Anderson. Let’s not cloud the issue with emotional detritus. He has to be punished for bad sportsmanship; winning. And winning large. Can’t have that. And whether you like it or not, the gooey mess you wish to tar him with splatters over every one of the girls on his team who took the floor to try their hardest, to perform at the level of their individual abilities. How dare they be better than the sympathetic figures of their opponents who obviously lacked the skill or abilities to put up more than one bucket? Harsh reality to be sure, but a reality nonetheless.

And their arrogance knows no bounds; they managed to beat their next opponent 80-19 with their coach banished from the sidelines. Apparently they didn’t get the message. It’s okay to be better than your opponent, but by just a little. What type of punishment should be meted out to them?

None. They’ve been punished. They too are bad sports. At any given time they could have chosen to quit, throwing the game in the name of “good sportsmanship.” Otherwise, how could they expect everyone to get a trophy when they continue to show their skills and determination to such an extent that it highlights the lack of ability on the part of their opponents? That cannot stand. Not in today’s world where everyone’s feelings are far more important than the tough lessons life tends to rub in our faces.

Bloomington losing coach, Dale Chung, quipped “People shouldn’t feel sorry for my team. They should feel sorry for his (Anderson’s) team, which isn’t learning the game the right way.” Coach Chung should be fired. Immediately. Never mind that he obviously doesn’t have the skill to field a competitive team; or that he and his athletic director should have done all they could to find a league that his team could actually compete in. Sorry coach, I do feel sorry for your team. They have no leader for a coach. That’s probably the genesis of their problems. What pray tell would be “learning the game the right way?” To demean your opponents by giving up when you’re in the lead? Or quitting when you’re not? By not competing to the best of your abilities? Obviously, his team is being taught that when you lose, you whine. Not introspection. No goals to achieve, no lessons to be learned from the loss other than how to impugn the victors, ignoring the fact that you don’t have the talent to be competitive? Lessons one can assume, that won’t serve his girls well in life. If you can’t strive to be better, make sure you strive to discredit those who are. Someone will give you a trophy anyway.

Maybe I am a cold hearted bastard. I’ve watched my daughters’ teams get horrifically embarrassed. And the best I could offer them was support; telling them that they met a team that outplayed them, a team that was better than they were. A team they should strive to be like. Maybe just maybe, they should use the losses to motivate them to look inwards, find the determination to continue, to improve, to compete. What was I thinking? I should have just pulled them from the game and taken them home, thinking all the while about the strongly worded letter of admonishment I was going to send to the coach and principal of the offending winning team. What kind of father am I?

Simple; the kind of father who swallows hard with pride when my girls walk off the court after a loss with the same dignity and integrity as when they are victorious. That, Coach Chung, is “learning the game the right way.”


Timing. It’s all in the timing.  When I noticed great words of wisdom and healing from pugilist-philosopher Terrell Gausha, I did what I normally do when blatant idiocy hits my windshield; I took a deep breath and filed it away under “get to this when you’re not pissed off…”   Seems Gausha believes that the country that rewarded his hard work in the gym with the opportunity to fight for that country’s Olympic team is too racist for him to ever wear their colors again.  Well, at least that’s what he tweetedAnd tweeted.  Until he back pedaled and blamed TMZ for making it “seem different than what it was.” What it was Terrell, was the ranting of a loud mouthed bigot who may have realized a little too late that he just spit out his future endorsements and possible future Olympic Team assignment as if they were his mouth guard between rounds.  No thought, just training.  Reaction.  Kind of tells a person a whole lot about you.  TMZ caught you with your guard down as it were.

Here, put these on.  They'll help you fight your own bigotry.

Here, put these on. They’ll help you fight your own bigotry.

Before I had a chance to gather my thoughts on this twit and his tweets, another famed sports figure weighed in.  Charles “The Round Mound of Rebound” feels that the verdict was correct.  Get ready Sir Charles, the long knives will be out for you now, gonna get a little hot down in the paint.  Sir Charles has never been shy about his opinion on any number of subjects and you have to admire his courage for taking an unpopular stand.  Of course, Charles won’t be backpedaling on this either.

Maybe Charles has the advantage over Terrell.  After all, Charles spent a lot of time having rather large men jamming their elbows unmercifully into his ribs.  Terrell has the great disadvantage of having other large men pounding his punkin on a daily basis. And it shows.

Thank you sir Charles, for calling it like it is and making these other race baiting media whores look small by comparison.   I’m sure there are an awful lot of Americans who feel as you do.  And Terrell?  Lots of folks are going to be keeping an eye on your career.  You’re going to have to Photoshop your face on your own dammed box of Wheaties my friend.  And as for the Olympic team?  It appears that you decided you can’t represent this country.  Maybe the USOC will take notice.  I certainly don’t ever want to see you wear the USA uniform again.  You offended a lot of folks out here and guess what?  Taking a read from Sir Charles, not all of them are the hated whites.

Instead of sweating it out in the gym to the theme from Rocky, maybe Terrell will switch to Stevie Wonder tracks.  It’ll make him feel better about his own internal hate.


Some of my most cherished memories growing up involve the youth sports I participated in.  Unfortunately, not many of those memories were of spectacular goals, amazing breakaways or dramatic three-pointers since I pretty much sucked at a lot of sports, and I was usually the smallest kid on the team.  No matter.  To be included, be part of a team, make friends and just be out on the field made it worth while.  It was the same when I started coaching youth sports. The rewards far outnumbered the disappointments.  Except of course, having to deal with the obnoxious sports parent that prowled the sidelines, loudly “coaching” and distracting their own kid, demeaning other children, criticizing coaches and officials and generally making a boorish ass of his or herself.  I finally had enough when it was determined that there would be no winners or losers; everyone got an award just for the ability to show up wearing the correct color jersey.  And of course, there were exceptions made for that too.

it's called play....

Sports teach kids a lot about life.  That sometimes, there are people far more talented than you. That sometimes, working hard really does pay off; sometimes it doesn’t.  That the greatest award isn’t handed out on the field, it’s the gift of those friends you shared the adventure with. It’s usually the warped mind of some loudmouthed parent, trying to regain the only triumph they ever had, or even trying to attain one they never could by proxy through their child that ruins the experience.  Every once in a while, even the kids of these yahoos would express the wish that mom or dad would just sit down and let them play. Operative word being play.

Here’s another kid that gets it.  A thirteen year old boy qualified as a hockey referee for Hockey Canada, officiating pee-wee games in New Brunswick. During one game, he and other refs were taking some ridiculous amounts of abuse from a hockey mom (or is that hokey-mom) and a coach for one of the two opposing teams.  After having heard quite enough, he ejected both mom and coach from the arena, exercising authority to do so granted to him by Hockey Canada’s zero tolerance policy regarding abuse towards officials. Unfortunately, police had to be called to the arena to ensure his safety after the game.  Even more disappointing?  The mother involved has absolutely no regrets over the incident.  Mom of the year candidate.

Teaching our children to be good sports is a lost art.  Many kids don’t seem to be able to handle either winning or losing gracefully.  Look to the stands and you’ll see why, in almost any venue, any sport, at any age level. 42 year old Joseph Cordes was in the stands of his daughters’ high school hockey game when he thought it a great idea to blind the opposing goalie by shining a laser pointer in her eyes for much of the third period. Young goalie Kathryn Hamer said “it’s kind of like when you look at the sun and then you look away, you see that spot and you can’t see for a couple of seconds.”  Her team was tied 1-1 in the third period when boy genius aimed his laser at her.  She gave up 2 goals after that and her team lost 3-1. Oh, and Mr. Cordes got off with a charge of disturbing the peace. Why he wasn’t charged with assault or endangering the welfare of a child I’ll never know, but hey this is Massachusetts after all. Coincidentally, opposing coaches had complained that someone was pointing lasers at goalies eyes at the same school a year ago. Even more coincidental? Mr. Cordes was arrested and convicted of trying to break into a drugstore in 2008 located across the street from the same hockey rink.  A dad you can be proud of.

Ms. Hamer seems to have gotten out of it with no injury.  That’s not the case for girls high school basketball coach Jeffrey Yackus in Indiana.  Mr. Yackus was disciplining two team members for fighting by having them run the dreaded laps around the gym, that time-tested ritual that always made me regret that lunch I had earlier in the day.  Obviously convinced that his little girl was suffering abuse at the hands of her coach, one Shelly Miller approached coach Yackus and dropped him to the floor with a punch.  Hero that he is, Miller then climbed on top of the prone Yackus and continued to beat him into unconsciousness.  Miller was charged with battery.  Yackus got to go to the hospital where he was awarded with a concussion, all for the joy of teaching sportsmanship to the child of one example of the type of refuse that inhabits the bleachers these days.

My greatest fear as a coach?  If these idiots were this unhinged out in public, what were they like at home, alone with their kids?  No refs, no officials, no coaches, no pads and no witnesses.  Just anger and a vulnerable kid.  It’s not a game for some…


Okay, disclaimer upfront; I really don’t know much about hockey, having never played. I like to watch the occasional college rivalries and get caught up in the Bruins when they’re on a roll.  I tend more towards college hoops (and yes, watching golf).  So when a dear friend of mine who happens to be a die-hard Bruins fan, and who also happens to come from Canada told me how disappointed she was in Tim Thomas’ boycott of the Whitehouse, well I just had to Google it up and see what the hubbub was all about.

Sorry, out taking a stand...

 It appears that Mr. Thomas wants to be apolitical while making a political statement.  Hey, I’m down with that.  Unfortunately, not a lot of people are. He’s being accused of insulting the president, insulting his team, insulting his management, insulting the Stanley Cup and he probably stepped on a few kittens and kicked some puppies this morning just for good measure.

I find this all rather amusing.  If Mr. Thomas wants to pass up an opportunity to visit the Whitehouse, that’s his call.  I’ve read that he’s a staunch conservative.  So one can assume that he’s really taking a poke at the current administration, even though he says otherwise in his statement:

“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.
This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT”

Okay, I’ll take him at his word.  He was making an individual statement and took a stand.  And for those who are insulted, disappointed, embarrassed and all?  Please, get over it.  This is a game.  I realize for some folks out there, sports is all consuming, just look at the way you’ll beat each other comatose in the parking lots over the wrong color jersey.  Very few average citizens get to make a statement to the buffoons of either party that are supposed to work for us and there’s just something, in the words of Chris Matthews, very “tingling” about it being done so openly and in your face.

So a young man who makes a good living playing a game takes what he believes to be a principled stand and we’re now debating if it was appropriate.

It’s always been appropriate.  Only now, it’s a little rare.  We need more people in this country to start taking principled stands to pull this government back from the professional politicians who are driving this country into the ground.

Otherwise, we’re just passing the puck.


I’m sure there are more important things in the world than a melee at a collegiate basketball game.  Unfortunately, the brawl in Cincinnati will be handled in much the same way we seem to handle most of these violent outbursts in society today; a tear-filled apologetic presser, an anemic response by governing authorities and possibly a future stint in a rehab clinic for anger management issues.  Can community service be far behind?  Cross off the appropriate boxes and atonement is complete.  On to the next lucrative free agent contract.

Ask them, they'll tell you they respected each other...

I gave up on the NBA many years ago as I watched one legend after another exit the game.  Sure there were unchecked emotions at times, one of the more memorable for me was Larry putting the squeeze on Julius’s windpipe.  Heated rivalry I guess.  But it wasn’t standard everyday fare.  It was the exception.   When Larry, Dr. J and Magic unlaced the converses for the final time, the league started to change.  It was more about the revenue, less about the game, less about the sportsmanship, less about the fans and more about the self.  Everyone wanted to be the highlight reel, everyone wanted the rock, pass and shoot was gone.  It turned into “my ball, dunk, I got my stats, call my agent. “ I switched to March Madness thinking I was seeing the sport at its purest.  I was wrong.

I understand the level of competitive intensity that might, might, send one into a fit of rage.  But what happened in Cincinnati was more than that.  This was well thought out, this was something that was more important than the game, more important than anyone’s safety, anyone’s integrity or anyone’s job.  This was personal.  Someone got “disrespected.” Well, that explains it.

Listen for yourself to Tu Holloway justify his boorish behavior in his own words. Then marvel at how we can create young men in this society who think that this is ever a proper way to handle “disrespect.”  It used to be that trash talk was met with stoic determination followed by an embarrassment in the box score, leaving the trash talker only to skulk away in his arrogance and shame.  Holloway’s justifications were more egregious than his behavior and show a personality that’s more deviant than immature.

But of course, big money taints everyone and everything and so it must be with the NCAA.  While there are thousands of deserving students struggling to get into college, we have this class of buffoons and one-trick ponies crapping all over an opportunity others can never dream of.  If you think a six game suspension sends a message, well then darn it, we’ll see no more fisticuffs the rest of this year for sure, and a real clean season next year too.

It’s clear that these young men have no idea of what personal integrity means.  Then again, neither do Xavier, Cincinnati or the NCAA.   Remember, the NCAA holds at its core valuesThe highest levels of integrity and sportsmanship” as well as “Respect for institutional autonomy and philosophical differences.”  Of course, that ‘s unless something more core gets in the way, like ticket and network revenue.

I don’t want to see anyone’s life or career ruined over one stupid event.  I do however, feel that these boys in men’s bodies who consider themselves “gansta” aren’t going to learn integrity in an environment where their whims are catered to and their transgressions are washed away.   At the very least, they should receive a punishment that will teach them not to “disrespect” themselves and the rest of society.

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