Blogs by Don E Peavy Sr
Play Not to Score?
12/9/2008 12:29:05 AM
(Originally posted 10/30/2007)
Ought a sports team to play not to score? That seems to be the implied wisdom of those who have criticized the New England Patriots for "running up the score" against the Washington Redskins in Sunday's "old fashioned whipping."
The argument that a sports team ought to play not to score is absurd. Moreover, it is insulting to the opposing team for it suggests that the opposing team is too weak to stop the scoring and thus is more in need of charity than competition. That this debate has garnered as much press and discussion as it have is evidence of a dangerous trned in this country, precipitated by the politically correct movement, to destroy notions of merit and competition and to move us toward a community of what I can only call mediocrats. That is, we become mired in an ocean of mediocrity in which we no longer strive for excellence but take comfort in knowing that we played the game.
We can see this movement at its infancy in little league sports where kids are told that winning is not important and all the participants in a game are given ribbons, medals, or certificates. We can see it sucking its nourishment from those who oppose "assessment" in public education and those who oppose recognitions such as "employee of the month," choosing instead to jetison meritocracy for mediocrity.
It may be that part of our problem is fueled by notions of equality -- a word which at its best is an illusion born of a delusion. For when our forefathers inscribed those words in our Declaration of Independence that "...all men are created equal ..." they did so at a time when a vast segment of the American population (i.e. women, African-Americans, Native-Americans) was not equal. But the founding fathers made a greater error. For they failed to understand that humans are not created at all, much less equally. Even if we accept the belief among Western religions that in the beginning God created Adam and Eve, we have to accept the fact that all humans subsequent to Adam and Eve are born and are initially circumscribed in the world by the circumstances of their birth. Some are born rich, some poor; some are born healthy, some infirmed; some are born beautiful, some ugly; and the list goes on. And while one can, and many do, overcome the circumstances of one's birth, one's doing so is not equal to the person born to priviledge.
Thus it is that it makes no sense to decry the New England Patriots for continuing to play competitive football until the final whistle was blown. And so what if the Washington Redskins sulk and complain? Their sulking and complaining is about as effective as their playing; which, if it had been better would have relieved them of the need to sulk and complain.
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More Blogs by Don E Peavy Sr
Life Anyone? Why Must Death Always Be the Catalyst? - Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Remembering The Vampire - Saturday, December 13, 2008
On Burning Bridges - Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Why I Am Not Marching in the Street - Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Play Not to Score? - Tuesday, December 09, 2008