Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

A Youth Sports Blog

Archive for the ‘athletic kiddie porn’ Category

Those dudes with cameras at your kids’ games? That would be MLB Network

with 2 comments

MLB Network, the TV arm of Major League Baseball, stretches the definition of “major” in its August TV schedule. Not content to let ABC have all the fun with the Little League World Series, MLB Network has declared August “Youth Baseball Month.” From its own release:

MLB Network today announced that August will be “Youth Baseball Month” on MLB Network, with exclusive broadcasts of the final rounds of the RBI World Series presented by KPMG, New Era National Youth Baseball Championships and the Cal Ripken World Series this August. Coverage will begin on August 9 with the Senior Boys RBI World Series presented by KPMG, continue with the Cal Ripken World Series on August 21 and 22, and conclude with the New Era National Youth Baseball Championships from August 27-30 for the 10-Under and 12-Under divisions.

Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. will join his brother and MLB Network analyst Bill Ripken in the broadcast booth throughout the Cal Ripken World Series. Broadcast teams for each event will include MLB Network on-air talent.

BillyRipken89Fleer

“Welcome to MLB Network, everybody. I’m Cal Ripken, and joining me in the booth is my brother, Fuck Face.”

In case you don’t know, RBI Baseball is MLB’s inner-city program. Cal Ripken [which is a 12-and-under championship] is what used to be the Babe Ruth League. And the New Era Championships (yes, New Era is the name of the sponsor) has 10-and-under and 12-and-under national championships. So if you thought a Little League World Series was exploitative, just wait!

“As part of our 24/7 coverage of baseball, it’s important to include programming that is relevant to the sport’s younger players and fans,” said Tony Petitti, President and CEO of MLB Network. “These three marquee events are deserving of a national TV audience and we are looking forward to bringing them to MLB Network this summer.”

Translation: We can fill dead air time! Yay!

Within five years, if your kid’s league isn’t on TV, then the game just won’t be worth playing.

Bryant Gumbel wants you!

with 2 comments

Really, he does. I’ve been asked by a producer at Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel to spread the word that if you’ve got a young child you’re training for a pro career (your progeny — gymnastics coaches don’t count), you might get the chance to be on HBO without making drunk confessions in a taxicab. Wait, “Taxicab Confessions” isn’t on anymore? Damn, I loved that show.

1543434172_f329e4d26a

HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel is developing a story on the current climate in youth sports in which parents are increasingly invested in the athletic pursuits of their children. We’re looking for parents of children (ideally ages 3 through 10) who have invested large amounts of time, money, and energy into their children’s sporting activities. Ideally, you’re a parent whose investment in youth sports is connected to a hope that focusing on your children’s sports activities will one day lead to a college scholarship or pro career.  The point of the piece is to illuminate the evolution in the seriousness of youth sports; this is not meant to be a judgmental story on parents’ decision-making on how to raise their children. Please contact: Nisreen Habbal, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Direct line: (212) 512-1645. Collect calls will be accepted. Thank you very much.  

The producer asked me for suggestions. I mentioned Glenn Lines. I think they’re looking for someone who gives off a less creepy vibe.

By the way, why that line about “not being judgemental” might sound a little uh-oh, I believe the producer is sincere. Sure, there are overbearing parents shoving tennis rackets or baseball gloves into their kids’ hands at age 4 and looking at it as the first step to the pros. But there also are parents of prodigies legitimately trying to find ways to manage their child’s life and expectations in the face of a lot of outside pressure. This should be an interesting program. Maybe not as interesting as drunks talking about their threesomes or coke addicts begging for a fix, but on a show featuring kids’ sports, that would just be sad.

Best shot that resembles the old Michael Jordan-Larry Bird McDonald’s commercial

leave a comment »

Off the top of the backboard, slide off the rope support, in the basket.

Sadly, it doesn’t count, but this shot from a Pewaukee, Wisc., 7th- and 8th-grade game sure is cool. And here I was impressed one of my junior high kids hit a 30-footer before halftime last Sunday.

Written by rkcookjr

April 8, 2009 at 3:12 pm

You only write about us when we provide the pictures

leave a comment »

In 1977, I stood resplendent in my blue patterned, monogrammed leisure suit (made by my grandmother) in the front of St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Owosso, Mich., along with my fellow First Communion celebrants. The photographer asked us communicants whether we wanted a picture to be passed out to our families, or for the newspaper. We bellowed: “THE NEWSPAPER!”

After all, having a picture in your parents’ hands was all well and good. But being in the newspaper was validation, immortality, even if was only the Owosso Argus-Press. There we were, on page 2, to be cut out and put into scrapbooks. Who cared if our faces all were so small you couldn’t tell one kid from another? (Or one monogrammed leisure suit from another?)

I thought of this after seeing another note from a newspaper encouraging its readers to submit photos, particularly of youth sports, to be published or posted. In this case, it’s the Zanesville Times-Recorder in Zanesville, Ohio, known for being one of Forbes’ most vulnerable local economies, a stop on the Devil’s Highway, and home to the Institute for White Studies. The Times-Recorder posted its note Sunday asking readers to submit photos to be used for galleries of prom and youth spring sports.

As newspapers circle the financial drain, one of their Hail Marys (other than mixing metaphors) is to ask for reader-submitted content, which is free and an easy driver of visits to the paper’s web site, or sales of newspapers to the people whose friends and relatives are featured. It’s a test of how strong the brand name of a newspaper can be. You don’t need a local paper to get your kids’ volleyball photos online. You can start a blog, or a Flickr account. (And then have some smart-aleck blogger steal your kid’s photo off of Flickr because it’s not copyrighted material.)

3392640087_eb220ce5f2

Like this, for example.

But as anyone who works a newspaper sports desk can tell you, there are sports parents who are incessant about why the local paper isn’t giving full blanket coverage to their kid’s team or sport, and their kid. “You only cover us when we [insert very bad thing here]” is a sportswriters’ cliche for the grief they get from parents.

Why do parents or fans bother? Because having someone ELSE take or post your pictures is validation, immortality. Especially as there are a million places online to disseminate your sports photos and information, getting a call from someone else who wants to do so is much more meaningful. (Plus, if it’s the local newspaper, you can be pretty sure it’s not a pedophile heavily breathing for your prom or swimming photos.)

Newspapers such as the Zanesville Time-Recorder are counting on their established brand name and ability to grant validation, immortality, to get scads of photos, but more importantly to remind readers that if they want to be remembered, posting a photo to a Facebook page isn’t enough. (Oh, and maybe the sports staff can tell angry parents that there is a vehicle available to attract the attention of the college recruiters they believe search for talent only in local sports sections.)

230358125_cee8380f0d_m
An example that has nothing to do with youth sports: The Redwood City, Calif., Flickr Group is located in the center of Silicon Valley. And yet the members were besides themselves with excitement in 2006 when the local paper wrote a story about them.

Of course, this isn’t the paper sending a photographer out to shoot your kid’s fourth-grade basketball game, so it’s not like the barrier for entry is that high.

Still, even small children who never see a newspaper in the home, as well as their parents, families and friends, can get excited over getting a picture “in the paper.” Or should I say, in “THE NEWSPAPER!”

You want salacious gossip about youth soccer?

leave a comment »

Psst… I hear there’s a Web site called Turf Monster that talks about what soccer moms are shagging what coaches, lets you hate all over little girls teams and shows you amazingly racist comments about referees. Well, at least that’s what the Dallas Morning News said about TurfMonster.com, a soccer web site and forum based in, and concentrating mostly on, North Texas.

3054304063_5fb767b85c1Do I make you horny, TurfMonster.com message board poster?

(Believe it or not, this is Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, pulled off of Flickr. With that gut, God save his spleen.)

If you know me, you know there’s nothing I love more than hot talk about middle-aged women and stupid referees, so I registered for the site under the nom de soccer mom “notgoingpro.” However, like Playboy, you have to crawl through a lot of boring chatter before you find any good stuff.

Not to say the reporter, Barry Horn, is a big fat liar. After all, he’s the man who brought down Micah Grimes. It’s just that TurfMonster.com, like most message boards, has a hardcore group of posters who will talk about anything and everything, most of it dull or incomprehensible if you’re not familiar with the subject matter.

The most interesting posts I saw in a cursory look at the site were the ones in which people posted odds on what youth league teams would win this week. You mean parents are taking bets on U11 teams? If so, that would explain why so many parents freak out on the sideline.

Well, sir, there’s nothing on earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-team Little League!

with one comment

Last year a group of all-stars from Rapid City, S.D., made it to South Williamsport, Pa., for the Little League World Series. Suddenly parents all over South Dakota are asking, why can’t we exploit our kids like they do in Rapid City?

From the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader:

So when Rapid City’s Canyon Lake Little League became the first team from South Dakota to reach the nationally televised World Series, [Matt] Richardson and Brian Eastman – assistant coaches in the Sioux Empire Baseball Association – decided it was time that Sioux Falls had its own Little League.

The city is on its way to having a league by next year, and other area towns are getting caught up in the excitement.

Brandon will make the switch this summer, while Dell Rapids, Harrisburg and Brookings could have leagues in place by 2010, joining Huron and several West River communities that already have associations.

“We are the largest city in South Dakota,” Richardson said at the start of the process. “We only think it’s fair that we have Little League baseball, because we have just as good, if not better, talent in Sioux Falls than Rapid City has.”

Damn right! You’re not going to let those inbred peckerwoods from Rapid City show you up! If you don’t prove your 11-year-olds can beat their 11-year-olds, then you ain’t shit, Sioux Falls!

thesimpsons-margevsthemonorail_1157690485Little League representative Lyle Lanley leads Sioux Falls supporters out of the most recent parents meeting.

This is getting to be such a divisive issue in Sioux Falls (where Little League can’t start until 2010) that the Argus-Leader ran a can’t-we-all-just-get-along editorial so there wouldn’t be the War Between the Leagues.

In this interview with the Argus-Leader, the Little League backers say they were struck that the local league had no all-star game or championship. And that the players can’t wear major-league team logos on their uniforms. And that was pretty much it, beyond the faint hope of playing on ABC.

Little League certainly appreciates the interest, what with its membership being on a long-term decline. But inviting in Little League just for World Series glory? Note to the Sioux Falls Little League backers — the kids don’t care! And if you’re worried about scouts not being able to discover the talent on your diamonds, don’t worry. Scouts will find talent no matter how remote. They don’t just wait to see whose games are announced by Brent Musberger.

How you can drool over a six-year-old and not get arrested

leave a comment »

You think it’s a sin that NBA teams draft players barely out of high school? How about major professional soccer teams chasing after six-year-olds?

Like this one — Madin Mohammed, already dubbed the next Zinedine Zidane because like the former French star, he’s a native-born Algerian whose family emigrated to their home country’s old colonial master. Also, he dribbles the ball like a motherfucker.

Plus, he’ll headbutt you if you say anything bad about his sister.

By the way, as impressive as young Madin is, his parents might want to read up on Sonny Pike before they start spending his professional money.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.