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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Martin Column: Adults these days

  • How many times a day do you hear an adult utter the phrase, "kids these days?"
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  • How many times a day do you hear an adult utter the phrase, "kids these days?"
    I say it and I'm 28. But, believe it or not, high school has changed a lot in the ten years since I graduated. None of my friends at CHS had a cell phone and we didn't have Facebook, Instagram or Vine. We didn't tweet until 2 a.m. every night.
    The world has changed dramatically and kids these days are, in fact, much different from ten years ago. Some of the change is for the better and some is not so good.
    Some of it, though, is not even the kids' fault. Some of it is the fault of the adults, coddling and babying kids. You can call it a number of things. My favorite: "wussification."
    The examples are endless.
    A story came out Wednesday about a New York middle school that has banned, according to the CNN.com story, hard balls and rough games of tag and cartwheels from recess.
    On what planet is tag a "rough game?"
    Remember the Seinfeld episode about the "bubble boy?" Maybe that school should just buy bubbles for every student so nobody plays too rough.
    You better take away the desks, the kids might pinch their fingers.
    Last week, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) felt the need to issue a statement on "postgame activity" after more than a dozen "incidents" in the last three years.
    Fights have broken out during postgame handshakes and the KHSAA felt it needed to address the situation.
    Reports came out that the KHSAA banned postgame handshakes, which is inaccurate. However, the KHSAA calls for school officials to "closely monitor" postgame rituals.
    First off, it's ridiculous they have to remind coaches and players there are penalties for getting into fights.
    It's rather hilarious that the KHSAA writes the following statement in the release: "Unfortunately, the adrenaline and effort required to participate in the sport sometimes seems to deplete the supply of judgement available to participants."
    It's as if they are saying adrenaline makes you drunk and inhibits your ability to make sound judgments.
    If you can't respect your opponent enough to shake their hand after an athletic event then you don't deserve to participate in high school athletics.
    You might get the picture already, but I've saved the best example for last.
    In September, a youth football league (ages 7-13) in North Carolina implemented a new "mercy rule," fining teams $200 for winning games by 35 points or more and suspending that team's coach one week.
    The league's deputy commissioner said the rule is teaching kids compassion for the other team and sportsmanship.
    Page 2 of 2 - Sportsmanship has nothing to do with compassion for your opponent. It does have everything to do with respecting your opponent. There is an enormous difference.
    I think a lot of people would consider Peyton Manning to have sportsmanship. I guarantee you he does not have compassion for his opponent while on the field.
    If there is that much disparity in the youth league then the teams need to be evened out. Fining teams and suspending coaches for being better than another team doesn't teach anyone anything productive.
    It teaches kids not to be competitive, not play hard and not play fair.
    Competition is was America is all about and taking away hard balls, rough games and a good old fashion loss on the field of play is counterproductive. Taking a rubber ball stinger in the back never sent any kid to the hospital.
    After the competition is finished, if kids can't come together and shake hands then they shouldn't be allowed to play.
    Let kids play fair and compete with each other.
    Adults these days.
    ___
    Follow Derek Martin on Twitter: Twitter.com/DerekDMartin
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