April 15th, 2004


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04:13 pm - 1KWFFH: on the right to engage in extracurricular sporting activity.
In the last couple of days, the local news has had stories on it about how the Woodland Hill School board has been voting to remove its no-cut policy from high school sports. I found this kind of amusing at first, and then kind of annoying and then kind of interesting, and as is my custom when something gets a bug up my ass for no particular reason, it eventually inspired me to write 1000 words of free flowing hostility:

So far, The news has presented the removal of the no-cut policy as some highly controversial issue. Well excuse me for a moment while I wonder about the validity of this. How is it a controversial issue? How in the bloody blue hell is this even fucking news? People are supposed to get cut from sports. That’s the best part.

Ok, so as I understand it, there are certain individuals who feel that the no-cut rule is a good thing. It means that every kid gets an opportunity to play any sport that they want. Its “fair” or something. Well, this may be stupidest idea I have ever heard in my life. Since when are high school sports supposed to be about being fair? Hell, since when is high school supposed to be about being fair. High School is about preparing for life, and you know what? Life is not fucking fair. The way life works, is that the people who are best at something are the people who are chosen to do a certain job. For some reason, people out there seem to have taken the stance that just because something is fun, everyone should have a chance to do it, no matter what their level of skill. WHAT THE FUCK?!?! I think brain surgery is fun, it’s a crime that no one lets me practice it on them.

We live in a society, where we for some reason like to believe that mental pursuits are simply more important than physical ones. We like to believe that if you’re smart that’s somehow more important than if you are strong. We like to believe that being a nice person is somehow more important than being good looking. Well, I’m sorry but that’s just bullshit. Just like some people are smarter than other people and will receive certain advantages in certain aspects of life because of it, some people are stronger or faster or prettier or whatever and they should be able to receive advantages too. The scrawny uncoordinated kid with 20/80 vision and the bad knee just doesn’t get to play varsity football. Sorry, kid, thems the breaks and that’s just the way it is. So stick your nose back in a book, Poindexter.

Seriously though, lets look at the issues one by one. First the obvious one: Sports are by definition, games of skill. If you remove the skill requirement then what the fucking point? In order for the game to be interesting, all of the participants need to be on reasonably similar skill levels. In High School sports we accomplish this by having Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman teams. Yes, some students might not even be good enough for the lowest level team. Well, tough shit. Sometimes you just fall through the cracks. Honestly, does anyone really want to watch the bottom of the athletic barrel try to scrape by on the same field of play with the physically gifted. I sure as hell don’t.

Ok, next issue. Did any of these nimrods stop to think for a moment that sports like say football, hockey, basketball and whatever are fucking dangerous? People get hurt. People who aren’t physically prepared for the beatings of those sports are going to get hurt even worse. I don’t care how much he may want it, a sixteen year old who weighs in at less 120 fucking pounds soaking wet with bricks in pockets is going to get broken in half the first time he takes a hit in the bread basket by an outside linebacker who clocks in at 250 plus. The kid is going to get fucking killed out there.

Finally, it’s about teaching a lesson. The way the world works, there are disappointments. We don’t always get to do what we want to just because we want it. You want to be a football star? Fine then put in the work and become a good football player. Go to the gym, work out, eat right, work your ass off, and maybe you’ll get the shot. Maybe not. That’s the way life works. By just giving a free pass to someone who wants it, you are belittling the accomplishments of the people who work their ass off for it. (Or the people who are naturally gifted). It’s no more fair or right to let someone who isn’t physically adept onto the team just because he wants it than it would be to allow a student flunking remedial science into Chemistry II just because they think “mixing shit together is wicked cool.” What about other entertainment pursuits? Should someone without acting talent be able to demand a part in the school play? Are the tone death owed a part in the school choir or glee club? Give me a break.

Why is it that we treat mental development as so much more important than physical development? Is it harder? No, not necessarily. Is it more fulfilling? Not always. Is it more important? Rarely. We like to tell children that its what’s on the inside that matters and not what’s on the outside, but is that really true? Of course not. The total package matters. Both what’s inside and out. Physical strength may not be a substitute for intelligence, but it doesn’t work the other way either. Some people have one or the other. Some people have both. And yeah, I hate to admit it, but some people have neither. That’s just how it works. Thems the breaks. Is what it is. But games of skills are intended to utilize just that. SKILLS! And if we remove that element of skill what do we have left? We have a bunch of clumsy assholes running around on a field kicking a ball for no readily apparent reason whatsoever, likely running into each other and destroying whatever brain they had left. Hey, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad anyway.

Of course, I’m smart, strong, fast and pretty… so really, what the fuck do I care?

Current Mood: [mood icon] annoyed

(38 comments | Leave a comment)

 
1KWFFH: on the right to engage in extracurricular sporting activity. - graffiti.maverick

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Comments:


[User Picture]From: wooble Date: April 15th, 2004 - 01:15 pm (Link)
We live in a society, where we for some reason like to believe that mental pursuits are simply more important than physical ones. We like to believe that if you’re smart that’s somehow more important than if you are strong.


Umm, when did you move to a society outside of the US? I must have missed the going away party.

[User Picture]From: mistergone Date: April 15th, 2004 - 01:19 pm (Link)
No, I see his point.

Superficiality is rampant here, but we like to pretend that it is not. I think he's expressing what society wants to say is true, not necessarily what actually happens in society.
From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 01:44 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 01:43 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: wooble Date: April 15th, 2004 - 01:36 pm (Link)
And, by the way, you're wrong about the effect of the no-cut policy as well... it doesn't result in a bunch of clumsy assholes running around kicking balls, it results in a whole lot of clumsy assholes standing on the sidelines in uniforms watching the coordinated players play until they get frustrated and quit. No one gets cut is a much different policy than everyone gets to play.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 01:50 pm (Link)
No one gets cut is a much different policy than everyone gets to play.

Yes, granted... And I don't really know the actual details since I'm not a student at the school or a parent or a coach or even a fan. I am my rant entirely on the reporters stories and the interviews they showed on the news. People on both sides of the issue seem to imply that its an equal play kind of situation (whether that's true or not is another matter). Some favoring it because everyone gets a fair chance, others dismissing it for taking playtime away from the real atheletes. So I sort of took it as a given, but yes you're right it might not be. And of course if it isn't, If its actually "all 40 of you guys are on the basketball team, but only these 10 guys ever get to play" then that just leads more to the hypocrisy I was talking about anyway. If nothing else, its a waste of money on buying a bigger bus than is really needed.
[User Picture]From: bogosort Date: April 15th, 2004 - 01:49 pm (Link)
I feel that I must interject the immortal words of Tom Lehrer:
"The American army has carried the democratic ideal to its logical conclusion: not only has it rejected discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, or color, but also on the grounds of ability."
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 01:55 pm (Link)
Yeah, well I'm personally of the opinion that in certain circumstances discrimination is ok. I talked about it in this rant last year.
[User Picture]From: sui66iy Date: April 15th, 2004 - 01:54 pm (Link)
The way life works, is that the people who are best at something are the people who are chosen to do a certain job.

Now, that's an interesting hypothesis. Certainly explains our present government. I suppose I should quit whining and admit that George W. Bush is the best possible President.

Also, aren't you unemployed? Are we to conclude that you aren't good at anything?

Anyway, my point is not to argue with the no-cut policy or its absence, merely to point out that your little meritocracy is an utter fantasy. (Maybe it would be *nice* if people's fates were decided on their merits, but it ain't so.)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 02:00 pm (Link)
well sure its a fantasy... most of my rants are on some level or another, aren't they?

But anyway, no your logic doesn't follow... I would argue that me being unemployed whilst GWB is president is an aspect of the broken system that I was complaining about in the first place. Clearly there are people in the world less skilled than me doing jobs that I could do, so if people would just listen to what I said SHOULD happen, I should be able to bump them...

See... why am I not ruler?
From: sui66iy Date: April 15th, 2004 - 02:08 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 02:15 pm (Link)
From: sui66iy Date: April 15th, 2004 - 02:38 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 02:59 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: April 15th, 2004 - 01:55 pm (Link)
Another tasty attempt to shield our young from the heartbreak of disappointment. Everyone gets 100% on the test, because we wouldn't want you to know you're stupid. I would say this ironically if it wasn't for the rarity of holdovers in the ghetto public school system.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 02:02 pm (Link)
wait? are you saying you have an example of a school that actually does follow that policy?
From: marmal8 Date: April 15th, 2004 - 03:06 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 03:15 pm (Link)
From: marmal8 Date: April 15th, 2004 - 03:23 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 03:43 pm (Link)
From: marmal8 Date: April 15th, 2004 - 06:01 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 07:22 pm (Link)
From: marmal8 Date: April 15th, 2004 - 07:55 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 09:15 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: rackletang Date: April 15th, 2004 - 02:25 pm (Link)
I have to agree with you on this one.

People don't seem to understand that sometimes, ya just gotta have standards.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 02:33 pm (Link)
yeah... really I get that no parent wants to hear "really, your kid sucks at basketball" but does any parent really want to watch his kid out there getting slaughtered either?

*shrug*

people are stupid...
[User Picture]From: katieboyd Date: April 15th, 2004 - 04:00 pm (Link)
In my high school, we had a girl in a wheelchair on the cheerleading squad. I had several rants similar to yours above regarding this situation.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 07:28 pm (Link)
see, I'm slightly more torn on that. Did your cheerleading squad goto cheer competitions? Did they cut anyone? See, if there were a competitive cheer squad and a pep squad/spirit club, I'd be all for the wheelchair girl joining the the pep squad, but if there are actual physical, acrobatic and atheltic requirements for the cheerleading team, and said team competes in cheer competitions, then people who can't make the cut... well shouldn't make the cut...
From: katieboyd Date: April 15th, 2004 - 08:42 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 09:25 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: yozhik Date: April 15th, 2004 - 04:13 pm (Link)
The problem here is that you aren't looking at the money and where it goes. Athletic programs cost considerably more than any other after-school activity, yet are the most exclusive in who can participate. This often isn't an issue of who can participate in competitive events alone, but who can enjoy the benefit of training as well. I feel it's more than appropriate that anyone's children should have equal access to these athletic opportunities funded through public money, even if they don't get to play in a single competitive event. Perhaps they won't be able to run fast enough or throw enough three-pointers in the first year to be competitive, but without access to such training you are essentially closing off any chance those people might have to better athletes. Since the goal of public education is to allow all of us to reach our potential, even if it be more limited in some areas than for others, I feel that closing off students from participating with these athletic clubs - so that we can pour all of the athletic budget into people who will not considerably benefit in comparison to those would normally get cut - to be contrary to that goal.
[User Picture]From: katieboyd Date: April 15th, 2004 - 06:10 pm (Link)
Good point.
From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 09:10 pm (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 09:09 pm (Link)
[User Picture]From: stuntviolist Date: April 15th, 2004 - 04:51 pm (Link)

Woodland Hills School District is a bit messed up for many political reasons. But in recent years they have had a pretty big budget crunch. I could be wrong, but I thought Woodland Hills had cut their intramural sports programs several years ago. This may have been the reason for the no-cut policy. Just to give students access to sports training and expertise. I think all public school students have that right. Otherwise it's like denying kids the right to take German if they can't already speak it.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 09:13 pm (Link)
The implication of the interviews was that the programs were made no-cut in order to give all the students who wanted to play a chance to play. Or at least that's what the parents in the district on both sides of the issue believe. How true that actually is, who knows.

Now that it has been voted down though, they did say they would be trying to institute intramural programs for students who can't make the actual teams.
[User Picture]From: dariaphoebe Date: April 18th, 2004 - 05:31 pm (Link)
Ask me about it in person sometime. I have some theories about it.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 18th, 2004 - 10:00 pm (Link)
yeah sure... and like I'm anymore likely to remember that than you are to remember to give me thoses discs...
 

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