Friday, July 15, 2011

Irate Parents Strike Again and the Top 10 Athletes I Never Saw ........ JDaddy/CDog

We're trying something new!  A double post by JDaddy and CDog.  Can you handle twice the amount of knowledge?  JDaddy gives his thoughts on overbearing parents while CDog lists the players he wishes he had been around to see. 

Feel free to add your own comments about these posts and let us know how you like the new set up.

Castle Rock, Colorado is a picturesque small city of 45,000 on the south side of Denver. Searching the town’s web site, one of the prominent photographs on display is that of a Little League game in progress. The kids are probably 8-9 yrs. old and the pitcher has just released the baseball.  Yes my friends, Norman Rockwell could not have captured the scene any better.

But last week, three adults were arrested after a brawl which included a Dad and two Moms after a game in the same community that is shown in the picture. One of the Mothers was the town’s prosecutor. (I wonder if she will offer herself a plea). The other two were the Carlsons, a Mom and Dad tag team evidently.

Supposedly this was started by a disputed call against one of the Carlson’s precious little darlings and somehow turned into a WWE Little Leagueapalooza! In what could be the understatement of the year, Police Lt. Tim Gorman said "It's really unfortunate for the kids that play, “You’re taking the whole fun part of it out."  But Castle Rock is only this week’s" L.L. Gone Wild". There will be more to come in youth baseball, football, hockey, soccer, cheerleading, pageants, dance and band.

The bigger question to me is “Where are these people?” I ask this only because everyone I come in contact with relates similar stories, but in 100% of the cases, they deny acting like this at their own kid’s game. Just once I would like to hear from a parent who admits they are over the top. I would love to hear why they feel the need to embarrass themselves and their kids. It isn’t just parents who were frustrated athletes either. We all saw ESPN broadcaster Craig James bring down a successful football program at Texas Tech by being an obnoxious, overbearing parent. James was a very good football player in high School, college and the pros and still he felt the need to pressure the program to play his son, and then led the campaign against Coach Mike Leach when Tech bench warmer Adam James was disciplined.

I just wonder if parents today are too concerned that their kid will fail in something. As if they may never recover from a called third strike. We all want to see our kids and grandkids succeed in everything they do and I am no different than the next granddad in that regard, but the fact that little Becky does not make the 7 year old Pee Wee Cheerleading team will have no affect the rest of her life. What the kids want most is that sno-cone or Dr. Pepper after the game.

What I am sure of, though, is that they don’t want is to be heading to the Castle Rock PD while their parents are bailed out of jail.

I listened in absolute wonder when a friend of mine told me of his traveling schedule headache while getting his T-Ball team to a regional playoff game. Before I could get over the fact that there even was a playoff format for T-Ball teams (made up of 4-5 year olds by the way) he said, “It’s just tough for me to get these kids to focus”. My answer to him was that “I certainly hope so."

Top 10 Athletes I Wish I Had Seen
by CDog

I've been fortunate to see many great athletes play their sport.  I've seen Tiger Woods walk 10 feet away from me at the Byron Nelson.  I saw Nolan Ryan pitch a one-hitter (go read that box score and play-by-play, especially the top of the 2nd inning, and see how close I came to watching a no-hitter).  Much more recently, I was at Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Western Conference Finals to see Dirk Nowitzki score 48. 

But if Rufus or Doc Brown showed up and offered me the chance to go back in time and watch any athlete that I had never seen compete in person, here are the 10 I would choose. 

10. Lance Armstrong

I don't follow cycling now and I didn't follow cycling when Lance raced.  But every summer I would get wrapped up in the Tour de France.  Not only was he an American that conquered the rest of the world over and over and over, but he was a Texan.  He was from my own back yard.  Throw in the cancer angle and it was a story too good to be true.  Unfortunately, the peformance enhancing drugs story continues to dog him.  Like I said, I don't follow the sport enough to even have an educated opinion about how clean he was, but I know I would have loved to have been standing by a tiny road in the Pyrenees waving a Texas flag as Lance rode by.

The whole Clemente story is something that I need to spend more time investigating.  Based on what I've heard, he was a tremendous fielder and hitter.  But other than that, I never have known much about his game or who he was.  The fact that he died in a plane crash during a humantarian trip, and that he collected exactly 3,000 hits just adds to the mystery I have in my head about him. 

Reggie played until 1987 so he was still playing well into my early childhood, but since that was before ESPN12 I have no recollections of even watching him play on TV much less in person.  He was the type of player that I enjoy watching today with that powerful swing and attitude.  Sports is more fun when you have polarizing personalities that you either love or hate. 

7. Bo Jackson

It's weird to lament the fact that someone left us too soon when they're still alive, but that's just what Bo did.  It's very hard to explain just what Bo Jackson meant to a kid back then.  He was Superman.  Between being a true 2-sport star (as opposed to Deion Sanders who wasn't anything special in baseball), the Bo Knows commercials, and being the greatest video game character of all time, it was truly a sad, sad day when he got hurt.  Just look at who Nike got to be in the commercial I just referenced.  Bo Jackson was larger than life.  Alas, I never got to see him play in person.

I really don't have much to say on Musial, which I guess is why I would like to go see him play.  I know his stats point to one of the greatest of all time, but the way people talk about him, it's like he is a deity.  60 year old men turn to mush when talking about Musial, so I would have loved to have been around to see what the fuss was about.

5. Roger Staubach

My favorite Cowboy of all-time will always be Troy Aikman.  But that's heresy to most people that were around to watch the 70s Cowboys.  Roger Staubach could not have been any more different than the glitz and glamour of that Cowboys era, yet he was also the perfect person for those Cowboys teams.  Like with Musial, Dallasites that run into Roger feel like they are in the presence of royalty.  I'm no exception.  I attended a Q&A with him last year.  There was just a different feel to the room.  But I never got to see him play which gets him on this list.

I don't really think this one needs any explanation.  Other than the Babe, is anyone else's legend larger than The Mick's?  In my mind, every homerun he hit went 500 feet, and if he hadn't gotten hurt his rookie year he would have hit 850 homeruns in his career.

3. Pete Maravich

Pistol Pete is another guy whose early death has resulted in him becoming a mythical figure for me.  Take a look at his youtube videos some time.  I kind of picture him as an earlier version of Kevin Durant.  Tall, gangly, and you know you're going to get 3 or 4 jaw dropping moments each game.  Maybe it wasn't actually that way, which is why I need to go back in time to find out. 

2. Michael Jordan

I got to see him play plenty of times on TV.  The Bulls were on the NBC game of the week every Sunday.  It wasn't Christmas if the Bulls didn't play Christmas night.  But I never got to see him play in person.  He played before I had my own disposable income and before things like Stubhub and virtual waiting rooms existed.  There never has been and never will be a better basketball player.  At least not in my lifetime.

The Sultan of Swat.  I had to spend time thinking about the other 9 on this list and in what order they belonged.  But #1 was no doubt.  The guy would hit more homeruns than entire teams.  Plus, he was a big player in one of the best sports movies of all time.  Without him, maybe the Yankees still become the dynasty that we know today, but I'm not totally sure.  He was the perfect player and personality for New York.

So those are my top 10.  Agree or disagree?  Who would you put in a top 10?

Irate Parents Strike Again
by JDaddy


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