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Inspirational Reads

A Change in Programming

January 23, 2007

So, in the past, I've fired off the Ass-Hat of the Day award. Usually this involves someone who pissed me off at one of my daughter's sporting events. Usually, it's the fat guy who rips into five- and six-year olds.

I'm here today to hand out the UN-Ass-Hat of the Day award.

It's true. I'm lauding and praising someone here.

Last week (Friday night), my daughter had a basketball game. They ended up winning, and she got lots of playing time. That's cool and all; Coach Sean does a really good job of getting the kids in there so they can play. However, the focus here isn't on my daughter's team; it's on the team they played against.

The other team did not have any girls, which normally would peeve me a little bit since they're in a co-ed league. However, the other team did have a mentally handicapped kid playing for them. I found this beyond admirable. Not only did the coach have the kid on the team, he played the kid, and the kid got a lot of minutes (ignore the fact that only six kids showed up for the game). Unfortunately, I don't know his name, so he'll have to just remain as "the kid" for the purposes of this posting. What's more, the coach, during half time, took this player out onto the court and worked with him to help get him ready for the game. The kid's family sat beside us, and you could see the respect in the kid's father's eyes. Unfortunately, I don't think he got any points and maybe not a lot of good touches. I was hoping that maybe the coach would have him cherry-pick toward the end of the game just so he could get a lay-up, but the kid, instead, was hustling up and down the court and seemed to be enjoying himself, which is, to throw out an overused cliche, what it's all about.

This means a lot to me since my sister was handicapped and my father has, in the past years since I graduated college, gotten out of the accounting game and moved into a profession where he helps handicapped folks live lives of modest independence. He runs a workshop where they have jobs and he also helps in the group homes, where he assists them with cooking or laundry or takes them to movies. He also serves as chaperones when the clients go on dates, which, given the amount of discomfort my father always showed when he had to chaperone MY dates, always brings a wry smile to my face.

So, here's to the coach of the other team on Friday night (sorry, I don't have his name handy and I don't think I have the schedule still in my email box). Your team might not win a game this season, but (to fire off another overused cliche) you and your team are already winners in the game of life.


Chemgeek said...

Good show!!!

I LOVE sports, but I hate the intense and competitive nature of youth sports today. I'm not one of those "don't keep score" types, but I hate the "you being in a wheel chair really hurts our chances to win" types. Youth sports should be about learning the game, the fundamentals, the exercise, learning how to win AND lose. It should not be the means to filter out the "valuable" (jocks) from the "non-valuable" (non-jocks). I could go on, but you get my point.

Chemgeek said...

Not related to this post, but I assume you noticed Coach Knight did it again (knocked off another top 10 team). He just might be good at what he does.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

That's one thing I like about my daughter's coach: he's all about the fundamentals. And he's very patient, which is definitely a good thing when it comes to coaching 5- and 6-year olds.

I forgot to check on the game last night. I've been sick the past couple of days, so I haven't been as rabidly fanatical about basketball as usual. I suffered Indiana's "upset" loss with a wimper and a sigh. It was good to see Knight notch another victory over a highly-rated opponent. Makes you wonder how they could lose to Baylor.