(un) Sportsmanlike conduct

Tonight I had the pleasure, and I use that term very lightly, of attending my nephew’s second baseball game of the season.  We played our biggest rivals tonight…the team a few towns over.  The problem that we have in my town is that we let everyone play little league.  The kids who are good; the kids who are terrible; the kids who love the game; the kids who are apathetic.  Our rivals…well, they invite only the kids who are good at playing ball and who are willing to be subjected to their coaches. 

Our kids (and by that I mean my nephew and his friends) got beaten 16-0.  The other team was stealing all kinds of bases, even up 12-0.  The umpire was only making calls for the home (read the other) team.  The parents on my nephew’s team were extremely frustrated with the tone of the game.  The kids left the field, dejected and humiliated. 

You see, whenever these two teams play, our kids are beaten before they take the field.  They don’t think that they can or will win.  The parents…the parents are on edge as soon as the schedule was revealed. 

I understand going for the proverbial kill.  I reveled in the Patriots demolishing of so many teams this past season, cheering as loudly as possible with every point put up on the board.  But the people on the field are (arguably) men.  They get paid a lot of money.  They spend their entire year dedicated to football.  In order to play on that level, you have to be good.  Really good.  But they way that this local little league team plays–more to the point, the way that they are coached–is ridiculous. 

Usually, our kids take the beating with a modicum of grace.  Tonight, one of the kids retaliated.  He spat on his hand when he was shaking hands with the other team.  It can be written off a “boy stuff,” but I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed. 

There are so many situations in my life right now where I find myself believing that I am defeated before I even take the field.  I’m reading a book right now that a good friend gave me called The Power of Now.  When I first received it, I struggled though it, kicking and screaming.  After all, being a “good Christian,” why should I read a book that seems so…so…so not Christian?  I stopped reading it for a few weeks, but this weekend I picked it up and started over again, this time with an open mind.  And let me tell you something…it is helping me greatly.  None of us can change our past.  We cannot control what will happen in the future.  All we can work with is “now.” 

I have to thank my friend for the book.  I really do think that if I apply the concepts contained in the book, my life will be changed for the better. 

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