Even Penguins Keep Score

Posted: June 8, 2010 in sports
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It seems like there are always new rules popping up all over the country: seat belts must be worn, you can no longer piss on your neighbor’s cat, and worst of all – neighborhoods all over the country are advocating the abolishment of keeping score in organized youth sports! Are you kidding me? I keep running into stories wherein some upper-class, snobby, scared-of-everything suburb wants to protect Johnny Dearest’s feelings in order to keep him interested in whichever sport it is that he sucks at. I might be wrong, but I thought the idea of playing a team sport was to work together as a group to reach a common goal, not to run around like assholes for an hour then head home to watch Spongebob and forget what the hell just happened. It’s absolutely pathetic, and I’m pretty sure that even these penguins keep score.

I’ve read that some fear keeping score makes parents encourage competitiveness at a very young age, which they believe is unhealthy. I guess we’d hate to teach our children to have to earn something, right? We’re probably better off showing them that just so long as you try your hardest you’ll always be a winner, because that’s relative to real life. Give me a break, have them bring that mentality into grade school, and don’t be surprised when they cry over every scolding, bad grade, or negative comment from the kid who just kicked your son’s ass in basketball – and knows it because he kept score in his head. The pussification of todays youth has reached a new level of embarrassment. The other dumbass doctrine out there is that parents want their kids to be well socialized, and somehow believe that keeping score is antithetic. Right, because practice 3 days a week, games every weekend and tournaments every month just spawn isolation. But if they keep losing, we’d hate for the kids to get discouraged and give up on the sport they love so much. Listen, if your kid really likes playing a particular sport, chances are he or she will want to continue playing said sport regardless of whether or not they win or lose, so think about who is really the one getting discouraged here – it’s not Timmy’s fault you blew your knee out, dad. Fact of the matter is, some people will just never be good at certain things. Sometimes a kid just needs to realize that he or she sucks at a certain sport, and that it’s time to either improve or move on to something else so they don’t continue falling over their own uncoordinated feet playing sports their horrible at.

You can’t protect your kids from everything, and most times a good old fashioned ass whooping is just what they need to keep them humble and make sure their noses stay out of the air. Have you ever had to deal with an over-arrogant 10 year-old? Talk to that same kid after he gets his ass handed to him in an 8-1 blowout loss. Organized youth sports are one of the oldest “gimmes” in the book. You’re kids get a babysitter, exercise, a learned skill-set, socialization, team building experience and life lessons all rolled into one; don’t screw it up because you’re too damn lazy to explain to them why they’re awful, or god forbid, teach them how to get better. When little Timmy chokes a girl at school because she doesn’t want to go to homecoming with him, I bet you’ll wish he learned how to deal with failure a little earlier on.

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  1. Maura says:

    I agree. Competition at a young age is totally necessary! Even if it’s a drawing contest or something like that if your kid doesn’t like sports. Learning how to lose is probably the most important lesson in life. I feel like a loser every day I apply for jobs and never hear back… But at least I won the egg competition this year.

    BTW you can totally spot a sore loser (many @ law school) and they are not good coworkers or friends.

  2. Lauren says:

    WOW! Penguins playing soccer….I want a video.

    As a coach – I agree. So what – I get in trouble for accidently slipping the H word or S word out in front of my 12 year olds that I coach – but it teaches them that I’m angry about something – because I’m competitive. And if you want to do well at the sport and win then you NEED to keep score in order to find those talented players who understand what “urgency” is. If we are tied 1-1 with 5 minutes left you better believe my girls are all pushed up, trying like hell to get another one in. If we didn’t keep score what would their motivation be to even play…. besides for running around.

    • Nick says:

      Right on! Sports without score is like a television without cable – I mean, whats the point? Good to see you in or around the comment section!

  3. Sandra says:

    If there’s no score-keeping then there should be no practice, no team picture, no unearned trophy, no obligations to bring juice boxes and oranges for the whole team. Nada. Just let the kids kick the ball around and call it “playing.”

    But the reasoning is probably this: There’s that jerkkid (with the jerkdad) who puts the ME in TEAM and the FU in FUN. The coach either lacks the ganas to deal w/the kid (or the parents) or he admires the kid’s “gusto.” The only solution is to suck all accountability out and let everyone (AKA no one) win. Parents gets pix to pass out, certificates to frame, and no one’s ego gets bruised. (Hooray!) For now. (Awh.) But these kids grow up and are shocked to learn they aren’t awesome at everything. Cue the mental breakdown.

    Whoever likes the no-score-keeping rule should heed the words of the villain in The Incredibles: “Everyone can be super! And when everyone is super…no one will be.”

    (Sorry for the rant)

    • Nick says:

      Dont ever be sorry for a rant, ever. Theyre theraputic at the very least, entertaining, and educational. Keep on keepin’ on.

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