BILL PLASCHKE - I have just spent four squeamish hours watching children cry, children pout, children squirm, children crumble, children vainly attempt to hold themselves together in a situation that is not meant for children. I have just seen a child miserably fail, then weep at that failure while his relatives scream in unvarnished disappointment. I have just seen a child brilliantly succeed, but under such a spotlight that he also weeps, then attempts to pull his shirt over his face to hide the tears. I have just seen an adult verbally insult the abilities of a child, and a child gesture and glare to insult an adult. You know what I want to see now? I want to see whoever decided to put Little League baseball on television be placed in a permanent timeout… Allowing the public viewing of pubescent angst under the guise of a baseball game is opportunistic, offensive and just plain wrong.
What the hell? Children cry, children pout, children squirm, children crumble…? What in God’s name is Bill Plaschke watching anyway? The Little League World Series or videos he downloaded off of Dreamboard? Oh, I get it. He’s another one of these pedantic, mealy mouthed kooks jumping behind the wheel of the Pussification of America bus and stepping on the gas. Kids competing against each other? Some failing, others succeeding? Only one winner and everyone else loses? Oh, the horror! These kids will be scarred for life! They’ll never be able to get over the pain! It’s child abuse! Child abuuusse!
Look, anyone who acts like kids can’t deal with failure and get traumatized for life over losing a game flat out don’t know the first thing about kids. I’ll agree with Plaschke 100% that any adult who “verbally insults the abilities” of an 11 year old ball player ought to have his scorebook rolled into a tube and used to gerbil him with a sewer rat. I’ve coached youth baseball and football for years and decided early on that if the price of winning is calling some others guy’s son a “pussy,” I’ll lose every game and sleep at night. (Note: Trust me, it isn’t.) But anyone who contends that kids can’t handle screwing up or getting their asses kicked in a game has never been around a one. This is the same mentality that’s banning spelling bees and keeping Honor Roll lists from getting published. It’s pretending that every kid has the same talents and abilities, which is the worst kind of demagoguery. Worse than that, it’s telling the kids that failure isn’t a part of life. Now THAT’S child abuse. Maybe I’ve got this all wrong. I look at Little League like it’s fun and teaches you how to get the most out of yourself. And the more people watching, the more fun it is. Ask Jason Varitek how his LLWS experience worked out for him. But maybe Bill Plaschke is right and all kids sports should be kept off of TV. Hell, maybe they should ban spectators altogether so the kids who strike out won’t all grow up to be serial killers. So we should see wars and terrorist bombings and people getting killed in riots, but the LLWS should be banned because it’s too painful to watch. Then again, if America can handle Plaschke on TV, we can handle anything. @JerryThornton1