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Old 09-07-2005, 07:20 PM   #1
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Default [Sports Central Newsletter] #128 - An Age-Old Question

The Sports Central Newsletter
September 2005 - Issue #128

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|-- IN THIS ISSUE... --|

* Words From the Editor
* The O-Files: "An Age-Old Question"
* Editor's Pick: "Five Picks to Click in '05"
* Hot Topics From the SCMB


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Hello folks,

Happy Labor Day Weekend! While I hope you are taking time out of your busy lives to relax this holiday weekend, the millions affected by Hurricane Katrina won't have the same luxury. When you are relaxing in front of the TV as football dominates our weekends again, take a minute to think and pray for those fighting for their lives on the Gulf Coast. And if you haven't done so already, please donate to the victims of one of our nation's greatest natural disasters. Any amount helps and Amazon.com has once again setup a page to donate to the Red Cross: http://s1.amazon.com/exec/varzea/pay...157673-1556643

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|-- THE O-FILES --|

By Brad Oremland

It seemed like a nice idea when we first heard about it, so it's hard to admit now that we were wrong. It has become obvious, though, that kids should not be playing sports. People under 18 shouldn't be playing football, baseball, or basketball, shouldn't be ice skating or golfing or learning to hit a ball with a racket.

They simply aren't mature enough -- physically or mentally -- to put in the extensive training hours, deal with the stress on their bodies and minds, or cope with the publicity that accompanies athletics. There can be no argument that it is fair to ask children to devote the time necessary to master a sport, to push their bodies with long hours on the track or in the weight room, or to have a nation watching when they come to bat with the game on the line.

Or maybe kids should play sports, but somehow be exempt from those pressures anyway.

Of course I don't believe that children should be kept away from athletics -- just the opposite. But I do believe children participating in athletics should be kept off of television and away from public scrutiny. I know it's cheaper for ESPN to televise the Little League World Series than a Major League Baseball game, and years ago, when I first saw the LLWS on television, I thought it was a great thing to do for kids.

My thinking has changed. Professional baseball, for better or worse, is a business. Little League is a game. Treating children's sports the same way we treat adults' deprives kids of all the benefits athletics are supposed to provide. It's as kids that we learn about being a good teammate, dealing with losing, the joy of victory, and a pizza party. Growing up, we discover that it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. We learn about being good sports. And when the game's over, we get to go home and do something else.

Televised, high-pressure sports teach us the opposite of all those things. They're hard, cold, adult lessons. Make kids' sports like the other sports on television and you'll have 12-year-olds treating their teammates the way Terrell Owens and Kobe Bryant do, treating their bodies like Rafael Palmeiro and Bill Romanowski, paying more attention to the cameras than to the game, their friends, or their coaches. The last thing we need is a generation of athletes raised to behave like Leon from the Bud Light commercials.

Even success stories like Tiger Woods and the Williams sisters should raise a few eyebrows. What tennis fan hasn't questioned the way Richard Williams raised his daughters and manipulated the early stages of their careers? Does any golf fan not have some misgivings about the amount of his childhood Tiger spent on the course, away from anyone his own age?

Played at the Little League level, baseball is just a game, and we shouldn't treat it as more. Let kids be kids, and let sports be games, at least until high school. Young people should play sports for fun, as hobbies and social activities, not for fame or profit, or as obligations. All children should be encouraged to participate in athletics, but not to take them as seriously as we take the same games when adults are playing.


Brad welcomes your feedback: mailto:[email protected]?subject=O-Files
(Copy and paste the address if it isn't clickable.)


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There have been 15 new articles posted on Sports Central in the last week. Check them all out at: https://www.sports-central.org. The Editor's Pick is:

By Jonathan Lowe

The opening kickoff of the 2005 season is this week. While showcase games take center stage, there are a few other games that might be just as important to the championship picture. SC's Jonathan Lowe picks a few that should also be fun to watch.




What's the buzz at the ultimate sports fan community?

[MLB] Who Will Win the AL Wild Card?

[MLB] Jason Giambi strikes back

[NFL] Anthony's 2005 NFL Picks

[NFL] the (peerless) price is wrong

[NHL] Which NHL team has improved the most?

[NCAA] Huggins ousted at Cincy

[NCAA] Heisman hopefuls

[TENNIS] 2005 US Open

[LOUNGE] New Orleans

[LOUNGE] How much are you spending on gas?


(Thanks for reading! Next issue will arrive on 10/02/05.)

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