Thursday, January 27, 2011
BUT, MY COACH DOES SUCK!
2011 marks my 30th year in sports broadcasting so, you might say, i've seen my share of compelling and thought provoking things. Now, coming down the pike, is a you tube video sent to me by my good friend, Riverside Coach John Smith. Entitled, "My Coach Sucks", it is a cartoon vignette that features crude animation but packs a powerhouse point. Without giving too much of it away, it chronicles a conversation between two students (one the athlete) concerning a complaining basketball player who, when confronted by his inability to gain playing time, mutters over and over plaintively, "my coach sucks". After being confronted by the student for his inability to improve by following the coachs' various edicts--the player continues on, ad infinitum, with the same banal three word reply. In our current state of affairs, where a shortage of verbiage and an inarticulate banter go hand in hand, this video 'goes downtown' in exposing some among us who seem unable and/or unwilling to take responsibility. It is not too much of a stretch to see this clever little video, in general, as a microcosm for certain societal ills. As the idea is promulgated that government is invested with the responsibility that once rested with families, churches and communities--less and less seem to take personal accountablity. What is old is new again as the time worn phrase"pass the buck" is again in vogue. With some americans' thristing for government as an incarnate godhead, all knowing and all giving--we have surrendered the ability to function as a independent entity. From this, many seem inclined to relinquish individualism, the ability to reason and, ultimately, to take responsiblity. You say, "come on Wald, you're making quite an inferential leap here". Am I? When Big Government wrests control of our everyday lives WE become less in control of our destiny and more inclined to look to it for all the answers. A natural outgrowth of this is the resulting 'blame game'. We in the electorate are never at fault--always the scoundrels! Who we, by the way, dutifully supported during the last election cycle. No example of this could be more telling than the left's on again/off again love affair with obama. It was only two+ years ago, when a supple and vital barack obama captured their collective imaginination with themes of 'hope' and 'change'. Now, many in the left have 'run for the tall grass' abandoning the president as 2008 now seems a distant memory. As for the 'sucks' video, i'm not suggesting that it is part of a larger government cabal or anything like that. It is, however, indicative of our society, so coddled and programmed by the mistaken role of government in our lives, that the refrain "its someone else's fault" becomes part of the national lexicon. Sure, this cartoon is a characterization of high school basketball players/coaches and their sometimes complicated relationship. Yet, it can also be reflective of a greater overall societal inclination to avoid 'owning up'. Rugged individualism was once a hallmark of the American character. Now, in basketball terminology, 'passing the buck', rather than the 'rock', seems to be the norm rather than the exception.