Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

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Don’t break up a kids’ game fight — it just leads to more fights

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You may or may not have already some version of the above video, which features coaches from two Pearland, Texas, youth football teams (you can tell it’s Texas because the preteens are playing on a pro-quality field) brawling during a game.

The report I’ve linked mentions that the brawl started after a coach stepped onto the field to break up a scuffle involving two players. So why did one coach trying to make peace start a fight involving other coaches?

Maybe the answer — which is not apparent on video — comes from a story a friend told me about his then 8-year-old son’s soccer team.

Like in the Texas football game, two kids collided, and they came up pushing and shoving. A coach stepped out to break it up. And almost immediately, the parent of one of the kids swung the coach around and angrily shouted at him, “Don’t you EVER touch my child AGAIN!”

Fortunately for all involved, that was the end of that whole series of unfortunate incidents. But as you can see from the video, things can get amped up pretty quickly when an adult steps into a place that some other adult — whether it’s a parent or another coach — feels he or she should not be. It’s “just” a kids’ game, but the combination of people’s competitive natures and, yes, their desire to protect their children can go very, very wrong.

I’m being only half-facetious with the title of this post. It would seem against all instincts to not break up a kids’ fight at a game. If there’s a referee, it might be best to let that person handle it at first — after all, that’s part of the reason a referee is there. But if you do try to break up a fight, keep your head up. And know that if things go wrong, you’ll end up like this video, with the kids stepping in to try to break up the fight between adults.

Written by rkcookjr

October 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm

New service lets you calculate your T-Ball shortstop's VORP

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The founders of Houston-based SelectStat.com, an online youth statistics database, have in mind as customers the sort of people who want to build up their kid’s resume so they have a better chance of being selected by travel teams or otherwise get better opportunities at each level, kind of like all those services that promise to make highlight videos of your kid for the benefit of college recruiters.

“I look at this as a child’s athletic resume,” co-founder Phil Jones told the Houston Business Journal. “If child moves out of state, it can travel with them. It’s good for the coach and good for the kid.”

Or, co-founder, Sean Ulrey, your $19.99 could go for making an online “baby book” for your child’s sporting career.

While I’m sure the co-founders/sports parents are on to something — there’s no doubt there’s money to be made from both those bases — I think Jones and Ulrey are missing a very key demographic: fantasy sports.

There are a million ways to play fantasy baseball, football, basketball, even golf and NASCAR. But why not get a database together and create a fantasy youth sports league? Have you SEEN the money these fantasy nerds drop? Magazine subscriptions, Internet inside information sites, flights and hotels to fantasy conventions — these folks are more shameless than youth sports parents at spending big bucks for useless activity.

And the thing is, parents will stop being interested in SelectStat when their kids stop playing sports. But fantasy nerds are forever.

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Sheesh, even Bloomberg, which presumably exists to cover Wall Street, knows where the real money is.

Written by rkcookjr

March 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Rick Reilly rips H.S. basketball team ESPN promotes elsewhere

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Rick Reilly, ESPN the Magazine columnist, on Houston’s Yates High School‘s basketball team, nationally renowned for running up the score on weaker teams with no apology from coach Greg Wise:

At the very least, USA Today ought to remove Yates from its national rankings — the school is No. 1 — as a statement about basic sports decency. That’d be the un-Wise thing to do.

Meanwhile, Yates is rated No. 2 by ESPN RISE, the network’s magazine devoted to fetishizing high school sports:

No. 2 Yates (Houston, Texas) won its first two Class 5A playoff games by lopsided margins of 126-61 over Sterling (Houston, Texas) and 104-48 over Friendswood (Friendswood, Texas). Head coach Greg Wise eased up on the throttle slightly in the Sterling game once the Lions were leading 40-7 after the first quarter.

Yes, kudos to Yates for only outscoring Sterling 86-54 the rest of the way.

I eagerly await Reilly’s condemnation of ESPN RISE for promoting Yates as well, especially if it gets picked for the magazine’s April 1-3 National High School Invitational Tournament, or as Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer prep sports writer Paul Shugar called it, “April Absurdity.”

Written by rkcookjr

March 12, 2010 at 10:44 am

Yates High: Still running up the score

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As if it weren’t enough to keep running and pressing so it could score a state-record 170 points in a 135-point squeaker over Lee High, Houston’s Yates High boys basketball team cemented its reputation as the worst sports in the world Jan. 20 in its failed attempt to get a 12th straight game with more than 100 points. Nothing was at stake except looking more badass to move up from a lowly No. 3 in the USA Today Super 25 national high school ranking, but Yates played the fourth quarter as if it were down 20 points instead of up 20.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Scoring six points with 1:30 remaining in a basketball game may sound like an attainable goal, but for Yates, it was mission impossible.

Unable to log its 12th 100-point plus game for the season, the Lions, ranked No. 3 in the nation on USA Today’s Super 25, had to settle for a 94-64 win over Westbury Wednesday night at Barnett Stadium. …

With less than three minutes to go, [Brandon] Peters broke away for a crowd-pleasing, 360-degree dunk to push the Lions’ total to 84.

From that point on, Yates employed a strategy of their own: immediately foul on the inbounds play. Westbury went to the free-throw line seven times in that span, giving the Lions plenty of opportunities to pad their point total to triple-digits, but missed shots and broken plays tripped them up as the clock wound down.

I couldn’t imagine being more bush-league than merely running up the score on a hapless team for a state record, but Yates coach Greg Wise clearly has an imagination far more active than mine. Fouling to stop the clock so you can get 100? What, does everyone in the crowd get a chalupa if you hit triple digits?

I applaud the professionalism of Westbury coach John Howie, who had his team play hard as if it were a real basketball game in those last 90 seconds. I would have been tempted to make a mockery of a mockery, say by having my team stand around and let Yates score, or intentionally clanging free throws, or having me, a la Slap Shot, run around the court and strip down to my skivvies.

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Eric Nystrom raised $30,000 for charity with his strip for the Quad City Flames in 2008, and guaranteed himself a place on the short list to play Ned Braden in any Slap Shot, ugh, reboot.

Written by rkcookjr

January 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm

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