Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Because Losers are Awesome! That's Why!

I am a fan of Real Sports with Bryant Gumble on HBO. It really can be a fascinating show and some of the stories are AWESOME! But this month it just flat out ticked me off.

If you haven't seen it yet, and you get HBO you need to stalk for it. There is a story about The Banning of Dodgeball in schools. Yes, I know. Out of 33 followers and random readers from around the blogosphere, at least one of you has a horrible memory of dodgeball. Some of you have horrible memories of gym class and middle school in general. See a therapist. I'm not your go to on this one.

My problem wasn't so much the banning of dodgeball but the reasoning behind it. We don't want children to be scarred by losing. They need to participate in activities that will help them feel successful. Seriously? You can't let children lose at a gym activity?

But it gets worse. They showed further footage of a PE teacher training in which they were...Wait for it! Jumping rope. WITHOUT A ROPE!

Pick your jaws up people. It is real and I watched it twice just to be sure. They encourage children to use their imaginations for how many times the rope can pass under them. And why don't we use a real rope? Because we could trip ourselves and get hurt.

Which leads me to indignation #3. A school has also banned tag. They can only play "Shadow Tag" (step on the person's shadow to freeze/unfreeze them) because too many children were falling down and getting bruises and scrapes. In this economy you want to go a step further and put Band-Aid out of business? That's just wrong!
But no touch tag wasn't enough. Because things were so delightful (please pardon my sarcasm), they decided to ban touching at all. Air high fives. Air hugs. And no patting a friend on the back.

Wait. I'll be right back after I brush the vomit taste out of my mouth.

Who wants to make the first prediction as to what happens to these "Chronic Winners" when they don't get the job on the first job interview? What happens when they get dumped? What happens when they don't get into the school they want because their test scores aren't good enough?

And if we are eliminating everything that could cause injury, does that mean we are banishing all organized sports? No more Tee Ball. No more soccer. Do you have any ideas how many times I stopped a soccer ball with my face in gym class? My sister wore hockey ball badges on her shins for crying out loud! And that was only practice!
Why can't children learn dissapointment? Isn't it more important to teach them to handle losing with grace and sportsmanship than to pamper their egos and give them a false sense of self? Competition is real people. And some people win. And some people lose. It's how the losers handle it that determines their character. The same can be said of winners.
So suck it up. Take a ball to the head or the small of your back. Shake it off and be graceful about it.
If you can see through your swollen eye.


Amanda said...

My husband can tell you exactly what happens to these chronic winners. They get to college and are wussies. He has to treat his college students like our kids who are 7 and 2 a lot of the time. It's insane. We're also against this "everyone's a winner" crap the schools teach. Everyone's not a winner. There is such a thing as natural selection for a reason.

For the record, my gym class in high school was banned form dodgeball, but it was because too many of us hated each other and were jocks so we were fairly good. Our teacher told us we were too violent and not allowed to play anymore LOL.

Fer said...

Oh, you haven't heard that some parents want to change it so kids can't get F's either? I hate seeing my kids' feelings hurt as much as the next person and I will cry right there next to them, but for Pete's sake - let them get hurt!!! If I had never had any hurt feelings growing up I'd hate myself because I'd just be obnoxious. If you suck, you suck. You learn that you suck, you try to correct it. If no one tells you that you suck, you keep on sucking.

Typing that made me feel better.

Mommy In Pink said...

memories of dodgeball? I can thinkn of quite a few from grade school, good times!

Sarah said...

Bryant Gumble? I'm in love with Bob Costas myself. And dodgeball is a classic. It's like there's no more concern out there for building character in our kids, dammit. A few smacks to the head can do a kid good. I suppose I should add that's as long as it's by a ball, in gym class, among peers. I'm not an abusive mom, but I think I might be a total wuss if I hadn't had my a** handed to me on the playing fields from time to time as a kid.

Anonymous said...

how did I miss this post? are you freaking kidding me? getting smacked in the that vicious rubber ball is like a rite of passage (or is it right of passage?) whatever, that's just something kids should have to experience. sheesh!

Bill and Lorie Shewbridge said...

I so agree with you, I am so totally sick of these wussy little kids and their whiney parents. We have a community intranet and I am so tired of listening to the parents complain about their babies. That "everybody should win" and that "there are no losers". PALEESSEE - where the HE** do you live??? Not in the real world!!