Just thinking about the responses I'm going to get for this blog brings me to the point of it in living color. I know that many of you think I can be a total jerk when I take some of the positions I take on issues or show a complete lack of compassion for others. That is all part of what makes me so damn charming.
Today's brush fire has come about because of an incident here in the desert the other day. A spectator, a woman, shouted out to Naomi Osaka, in her first game at the BNP Paribas Open, "Naomi, you suck!"
This caused Osaka to have a mini meltdown in between games as she was brought to tears. Immediately the press, and fans on social media, were quick to point out that she has admitted to having experienced some mental issues regarding stress in her life.
Several other big time athletes have admitted the same recently and it is this that has caused me to think about what the hell is going on today with our youth. Look, I have no doubt that these people have some issues that they need to resolve, and get help with.
The question is what is causing all this angst? I admit that I am as guilty as anyone for shouting at athletes, or coaches, or umpires, or whomever at sporting events when they do something that displeases me. This has been going on since they let the first fan into a sporting match. "Spartacus! Thou art awful."
If you think that it is worse today than in the past, then you never went to a Chicago Blackhawks game during the Dennis Hull era. Jackie Robinson not only had to put up with fans heckling him, but his own teammates were unmerciful to him. Talk about pressure.
We are creating a generation of weak minded, spoiled, soft kids. Somebody decided that every kid should get a participation trophy so that they feel good about themselves. This is a huge mistake. I blame parents for not wanting little Jimmy or Susie to feel bad about their talents. Guess what, some kids stink at sports and making them think they don't isn't helping them in life.
When I was a kid, playing sandlot sports, if you stunk, you got picked last and dealt with the shame of sucking. Not one time did the other kids rally around a lousy player and tell him it was ok that he dropped an easy fly ball, or let another kid skate around him for an easy goal.
What he got was an earful from other teammates about how he was worthless and should stick to coloring inside the lines instead of playing football. You know what happened to that kid? Instead of spending money to see a shrink who gave him breathing exercises to recenter himself, he pulled himself up and went on to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, came back to his school reunion and shoved his $240,000 new car up their noses.
Today, because kids never hear that they suck, they are so devastated at not getting that promotion they wrongly felt they deserved, that they instead go home, get their assault rifle and come back and shoot up the office before turning the gun on themselves in shame for not being the best at work.
That is the generation we are producing with the participation trophy mindset. Stop hurting these kids and let them find out, now, that they may not be the best point guard of all time. There is no shame at being terrible at sports. As the great Judge Smails told Danny Noonan, "the world needs ditch diggers too, Danny."