Friday, November 21, 2003

Where Will It End? When Does It Start?

When I started this blog I figured I would get a lot of material from blasting local journalists, especially Jay Marriotti. But most times I can't take reading more than a paragraph of his ego driven, player/GM bashing, humorless dreck. Other columnists aren't much better so I usually refrain from reading them too often. But yesterday I read a column from the normally bland Greg Couch that I had to comment on.

The article is titled, "And The Reason Number One Not Turn Pro at 14 ..." You figure if that's the title of the article Couch should try to answer the question. But he never does. The article is more of the "where will it end" variety.

Now I know teens signing professional contracts is a very important societal issue. It ranks right up there with the millions of children living in poverty who don’t have health insurance. I mean this year there may be only ten teens jumping to the pros, but next year there may be 15. I shudder to think of the number 5 years from now.

Couch also seems to have a problem with the professionalization of youth sports, specifically traveling teams. This seems to wreak havoc on Greg’s comfy suburban lifestyle. But again, what exactly is the problem with them. Are the kids being forced to play at gunpoint. My bet is that they participate because it’s actually fun to be on a traveling team. I was on two traveling teams in my youth. I participated in Small Fry basketball and got to visit such wonderful places like Highwood, IL and Kenosha, WI. I was also on a traveling baseball team that played throughout the south suburbs of Chicago. They were two of the more enjoyable experiences of my childhood. If I didn’t enjoy them I wouldn’t have played.

Couch’s columns gets even sillier when he drops this whopper:

“It already has become a sign of failure for basketball players to go to college instead of jumping to the NBA.”

Whatever. Name me player who feels like a failure, or is called a failure, for being a top twenty high school player instead of a top five.

Couch vents through out the column while never giving a reason why Adu shouldn’t turn pro or offer any solutions to fix the “problem”. That’s probably because there really isn't a problem at all.