(Disclaimer: If you're the mother of an athlete, please do not get offended by this post. I am merely voicing frustrations and my opinion.)
What is this world coming to? LeBron James' announcement warrants it's own 1 hour special on ESPN? I guess I should be thankful it's not on one of the major networks. Here's what I think about the NBA and their championship: Why in the world do they play the best 5 out of 7 games? They should do like the NFL does: play one game in a neutral (sometimes, anyway!) city. Period. June isn't basketball season. Winter is bball season, not late spring or summer. Let's make March really "mad" and have the NBA Championship at the end of the month. (HA!)
Mr. James' (I refuse to call him "King James") mother took out a loan for his 18th birthday to buy him a Hummer. She got the loan based on a prediction of his future earnings. Seriously. Isn't this also the guy who was caught cheating on his wife who was his high school sweetheart?
Then there's the University of Ga. football player who just got arrested. The police responded to a complaint about someone shooting off fireworks. When they asked the player his full name, he said he didn't know his middle name. Then, he said he knew it, but he didn't know how to spell it. (The policeman thought he was being a smart-aleck,and arrested him for misdemeanor obstruction.) How did this young man get into a higher institution of learning? How in the world did he get a high enough ACT or SAT score to get in? Better yet, how did he even graduate from high school? Oh, I guess I should tell you his middle name: Lawrence. His mom's explanation was that "he doesn't go by his middle name for personal reasons." (Athens Banner-Herald) I don't go by my middle name either, but I definitely know what it is and how to spell it. Has this young man never filled out personal information on any forms? What about the form for his driver's license?
These are the role models for kids today? It just burns me up that some parents are so into their kids playing sports and being the best. I know it's only natural for parents to want their kids to be the best, but when did playing sports stop being about having fun, improving coordination, and learning life lessons? The percentage of kids who will go on to play sports in college is a mere 5% (according to NCAA estimates), and the percentage of those kids who turn professional is 1%. To me, it's more important that the kids have fun and learn the life lessons that go along with sports (hard work = success; knowing how to lose, etc.). I know people who spend most of their kids' school lives at practices and games, and, if that's what they want to do, great. As long as it's the kid who wants to do it. The summer that OS was an alternate for his baseball team just about did me in. The daily practices, the away games, the eating out, the hotel rooms...I don't see how people do it. One of MS' friends was big into soccer: he played year-round in club leagues, plus his high school team. He was on the All-State First Team, and was Offensive Player of the Year for the state. So, where is he going to play soccer next year? He isn't. He's decided he's had enough, despite the offers and interest he's had.
I just realized I'd gone off on a huge tangent! Sorry. Back to the role models. You mothers of young sons: Do you want a good role model? Here's a perfect one for you:
He's smart, he's humble, he's an incredibly hard worker, and on top of that, he's a great athlete. Okay, I'm a little biased: he was OS' and MS' teammate in high school.
I know there are a lot of athletes out there who are good role models. The whole sports thing has gotten way out of hand. Yes, this from a woman who loves to watch sports! I see kids whose parents define who their kid is by what sport he plays or how he did in the last game/match. On the other hand, I know there are parents out there who find a good balance between sports & the rest of life...I have one in my family! Could our boys had been more driven? Probably. But, we stressed that they were Scholar Athletes (with the emphasis on "scholar"), and that if they weren't having fun, they should find something else to do.
Okay. I'll come down off of my soap box now. Who are your children's role models? What athletes do you think are good role models for children today?