Did Glenn go on an epic rant against organized youth sports?

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Glenn not exactly known as having a wealth of knowledge when it comes to sports, but when it comes to parenting he certainly has a lot of experience (and sometimes questionable advice). Today, Glenn turned his attention to organized youth sports – claiming that they have instilled in kids an unearned sense of “specialness”. Did anyone else agree with Glenn? Nope, and the ensuing debate may leave Glenn hiding from parents across the country.

“So I go to (Raphe’s) soccer game… I’m sitting there with my life, you know, really kind of clear in my head and I hear these two parents, two separate dads.  And one of them is like, Get in there!  Get in there!  And I’m like, ‘Dude.  She’s 6 and the team is called the Blue Bonnets.’  And the other dad was like, All right!  Good job!  Good job, Tiffany Carroll Ann!  Good job!  You keep it up!  Yeah, get in there!  Go!  Yeah!  And I’m like, what the hell are we doing?”

“It’s great to be positive and supportive and I was supporting Raphe and I was there, but we were there with the whole family, we all got in the car and we all drove out to the field and we all brought out a blanket which was sopping wet because it was ‑‑ anyway, we’re there for two hours on a Saturday and I’m sitting here and I’m thinking, what are we doing as a society? We are sitting there watching 6‑year‑olds in organized sports. You know what ‑‑ you know what? Go outside and play. Go outside and play. Why do you need to spend all the money? Why do we have to drag everybody out to see you guys play?”

“My dad, my dad would come to our organized games when we were in school and we were playing. But he did not come out to our little baseball games that we were playing down the street or the kick ball. Or, let’s go play Frisbee or whatever. He didn’t go there. We didn’t drag grandma and grandpa out so they could watch the game, which was organized that everybody had a uniform for and we could all cheer.”

But what is Glenn’s point? Is this just a symptom of his well-documented lack of sports knowledge and enthusiasm – or is it something more?

“There’s nothing wrong with organized sports. There’s nothing wrong with our kids going out and playing. There’s nothing wrong with cheerleading our kids. But out of all of the things that are happening in the world, we are spending so much damn time and money,” Glenn explained.

Glenn explained that too much money is being spent on sports for kids, noting an elaborate 80 million dollar complex in Texas, and that they are treated like rock stars and made to feel special over what amounts to very little. He also said that kids are being taught to play instead of going out and doing something with their lives – and he pointed out George Washington as an example for going out and surveying land at thirteen years old.

“Our kids are finding themselves until they’re 25 and, of course, they’re still kids when they’re 25. What do you say we don’t treat our 12‑year‑olds like they’re 6? What do you say we don’t treat our 6‑year‑olds like they’re soccer stars? We treat our 12‑year‑olds like 12‑year‑olds should be treated. It is in this progressive era for the last hundred years that all of a sudden children are all morons, children are all incapable, children could never work. I don’t want my kids working in a sweatshop. I don’t want my kids having to work day in and day out in a sweatshop. I don’t want that. That’s bad. But my kid can’t work? All of a sudden my kid can’t have an after‑school job? My kid can’t work on the farm? What the hell is wrong with us? We’re going to build them an $80 million stadium, but God forbid they get a job. Gotta make sure I haul their ass everywhere around town just so they can ‑‑ so they what? Win a worthless trophy that everybody gets? But God forbid I treat my child like an adult. And I don’t mean at the movie theater and at the game store. I mean I expect certain things of them,” Glenn said.

Wow, pretty intense criticism there, right? Thankfully Pat and Stu were there to instill some sanity.

“Organized sports is great because you learn leadership, you learn camaraderie. Teamwork, discipline. Structure. You want somebody there to guide all of that too. How to work together to achieve a common goal? I mean, there’s all kinds of things,” Pat said.

Stu and Pat also pushed back on the idea of just sending the kids out into the backyard or the street, saying the coach is there to teach the game to the kids.

Ultimately, Glenn said he wasn’t criticizing organized sports as much as he was lamenting the way we treat our kids and don’t challenge them to rise up and take on real responsibility. “Every other generation except this one ‑‑ and it’s because of the progressive movement ‑‑ every other generation has talked to their 12‑year‑olds as if they were really capable of understanding what was coming in the world. We don’t. We protect them. And we coddle them and we cheer them, but we don’t tell them anything. We don’t teach them anything, and we certainly don’t let them work or hold them responsible for anything,” he said.

Ultimately, Jeffy may have made the best case for organized sports. His son, Elvis Fisher, was playing for the New England Patriots until August of this year.

“Well, that may be their life because I just wanted to go on record as saying that was my life at one point and it worked. To the National Football League,” Jeffy said.


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  • Gristle McThornbody

    Bravo, Glenn. This is the 10% of you that I am one hundred fucking percent in agreement with.

    Sports are for people with small minds and free time.

    I’ll never forget what my father told me when I graduated high school and all my friends were having “graduation parties” and getting cars as gifts for that accomplishment: “Well, Gristle, I kind of expected you to graduate high school….”

    *Raises Gimlet* Cheers, Glenn.

    • jo blo

      Your dad sounds like a good guy. 

      Agreed for the most part re: sports. If sports were like they once were, where you earned your victory, and only superior and uncommon performance was recognized, where losing was seen as a bad thing to be recovered from and in the future avoided,  then they would serve a character-building function. But as they now exist, 100% agree with ya’ll. 

    • Mike Nelson

      Remember the scene in Patton where he and the Russian general insult each other and then drink, arms linked, and glaring at each other in the middle of a celebration?

      I endorse this post in all respects, but I toast with a shot of gin, right off the rail.

      10% of you ain’t so bad, for an “enemy.”

      • Gristle McThornbody

        Mike Nelson, you are the inspiration for my username and my personal Jesus of comedy. Gin is my second favorite spirit, sir. I would love, noting more, than to do a shot with you.

        My favorite go-to gin: http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/spirit/terroir-gin/


        • Mike Nelson

          I’ll try anything that close to “Terror” gin, thanks for the tip!

          In the interest of full disclosure (and not tainting another man’s rep) however, “Mike Nelson” appears to be either/both a common name, and/or a favored nom de guerre (even Lloyd Bridges wore that mask once, long ago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Hunt ), and I am not the droid you’re looking for – but that’s a great show and an amusing clip just the same.

  • Gristle McThornbody

    Glenn, you’d love this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFQUWhQGYi4

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUrbEIqFl_Q Sam Fisher

    Stop liberalizing sports to Socialist ideas.

    • Gristle McThornbody

      What are you talking about?

  • Sara Nichols

    Glenn, you are 100 percent right on this. Stu, Pat and Jeffy had great points too but Glenn has it right on the money. I didn’t play organized sports as a kid because I was too busy with studying. Bravo, Glenn, Bravo!

    • Anonymous

      Glenn is 100% chubby pasty whiney bitch

    • CarlDavids

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  • Anonymous

    From Native Texan: So lets get this right. You move to Texas a year ago and immediately invite everyone in the country to move on down. Then you tell them come on but leave your way of life/thinking where you came from. Now you have taken it upon yourself to criticize how youth sports are run in Texas and how they should be changed to fit your ideals. Take your own advice hypocrite if you don’t like how we do it here go back to New York. It’s about supporting the kids Marsh mellow butt. FYI 15 years served in all types of coaching roles in youth sports, and 10 years in support roles at school extra curricular activities. I listen to you for info I can get no where else not for your rants about stuff that you don’t like. Stick to the facts, maybe get a native Texan to coach you on acceptable Texas behavior and courtesy.

    • jo blo

      I think it’s the ‘it’s for the kids’ stuff that Beck’s talking about. Sports has gotten crazy, in Texas and elsewhere. Maybe if we didn’t do the stupid stuff Beck talked about in the segment, we’d have less of a narcissist problem on our hands with the youth. And I see you have a vested interest in the sports Beck’s talking about, so I guess that’s why it rubbed you wrong. Doesn’t change the point, tho. 

      Sports once were a character-building exercise. Now they’re a caricature. 

          – A Native Texan. 

      P.S. Even my dad, who played football in Texas in H.S. and College, thinks it’s gotten out of hand. We’re not anti-sports. just anti-crazy. 

      • Anonymous

        So, what about the 30mil dollar fine arts department that goes along with it ?
        Now that’s some glee right there.

        • jo blo

          I’m not sure I follow, but I would argue that, with the exception of art history, and art for people who actually have talent (probably <5% of art students), I think those budgets should be cut as well. Real artists will always find patrons or make their art anyway. That's how the artists of the past made it. 

      • Anonymous

        So, what about the 30mil dollar fine arts department that goes along with it ?
        Now that’s some glee right there.

      • Anonymous

        I just hate it when he talks out of both sides of his mouth. What is a progressive trait –you think you know what is best for everyone else. What is a Libertarian motto –If it doesn’t hurt me or mine and steals no money from me it’s none of my business. I would guess that neither parent he mentioned said a word to him or about him or his family. I would also assume they didn’t cost him any money. So the question from a libertarian view is why is he so worried about what they do. I had a rule when I coached the parents could yell at their own kids only and root for the team as a whole, they could not yell at anyone else’s children. I was the only one allowed to coach the  team in it’s entirety. Saves a lot of problems between parents because about 90% of the issues you have aren’t kid related they are parents not taking care of their own business. Rub your own coin Mr. Beck

    • Anonymous

      It opened on Aug. 31, 2012 with a matchup between the Allen Eagles and the defending Texas 5A state champion Southlake Carroll Dragons. Allen shut out the Dragons, 24-0, in front of a record crowd of 22,000 that included 4,000 standing-room-only spectators. 

  • Lorraine

    If your kids want to play sports in high school or college, they have to start at the earliest age possible and play on several teams simultaneously. My daughter played on a travel team, rec team and school team starting at age 10. By the time high school came along she was burned out on basketball and suddenly announced she was going to be a swimmer and tennis player! Shocked us, but we had always told her it was her decision and she could quit at any time. So she became a swimmer and tennis player in high school and did quite well without all the pressure. She refused to continue swimming in college, which was okay too. By then she realized her studies were more important. It’s not just Texas, it’s everywhere.

    • Anonymous

      It’s nice if your school has a pool and tennis courts. My kids school doesn’t even have sandboxes and monkey bars for the grade-schoolers. The “track” is a parking lot that is blocked off to vehicular traffic. There are no team sports at all, though they have regular gym class, in which they have some rudimentary exposure to a few sports that would be team sports (volleyball, basketball, flag football).

      I’m not complaining, because academically, my kids’ school is far exceeding the state norm and the regional norm. It’s a charter school that gets less money per student than regular public schools, has no debt to service, and is a good steward of the materials and resources they have. They can’t afford team sports even if they had the sports facilities for them. Without any team sports and with only minimal exposure in gym class, I have enrolled my kids in mixed martial arts on weekends. It’s the best I can do for them at this point, but they’re learning a skill that will serve them well the rest of their lives.

      As for kids being in organized sports, there really isn’t an alternative. You never see kids in any of the public parks anymore. Parents don’t let their kids just wander off to the park like when I was a kid. I really don’t like the idea of my kids going to the park, either, because they’d be the only little ones there. Any pedophiles would have them as the only prey on their radar. I do see young men shooting hoops, but frankly, I don’t trust any of them, either. They are very crude, with cursing and talk of sexual matters. It’s not what I want my girls to be exposed to. So, parents find safety in numbers and in having their children chaperoned by trusted adults in organized sports programs.

      When I went to school, we only had team sports. I think that is bad, because kids leave strenuous exercise behind when they don’t play team sports in college or go on to play team sports in the military. There are simply no football teams for the working man who isn’t going to school. What our schools really need are more programs for swimming, cross-country skiing, down-hill skiing, tennis, and such sports that can be carried throughout adulthood. But even as team sports are expensive, sucking up all the available funding for sports, so too are swimming pools and tennis courts.

      • jo blo

        You bring up an important point re: parents not letting their kids go to parks like they used to. 

        This is why :

        1. We must have a streamlined appeals process (say finished within 6 months of conviction) and death penalty for pedophiles.

        2. We must work to end any legal protections for crude speech in public. This is entirely allowable under the Constitution as originally written. The states have the right to censorship, and had it, even with the 14th amendment, until the Supreme Court made a foolish ruling in the 1950s. This can, and must, be undone. 

        3. Get rid of zero tolerance rules in schools and make most types of assault and battery misdemeanors. Raise boys to fight like they used to. A couple of dads knocking off the blocks of some foulmouths in public will go a long way in making public places family friendly again. 

  • Take 2

    Thought Stu might be here? 

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    eric’s little heros will be so upset at glenn today.

  • Liberty: Coercion’s Absence

    We should remember that certain notions, such as socialism’s fatal theory of society by design, are little more than the odd notions of crazed men that have been continuously recycled within the ivory towers of detached academics.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I’m only commenting here cuz there are so few other comments, my golden words might be seen then. Big ego trip, don’tcha know.

    No, really, Glenn is making a very valid point here of how our society is, in this generation, so messed up by the progressive mentality of basically changing our way of thinking. As Michelle so eloquently put it, “I’m finally proud of my country” as her husband declared “we need to fundamentally change history.”  Okay, so I’m improperly conflating those two quotes, but isn’t it just that — the libs are proud of the wrecking of a two-century old exceptional growth of a righteous nation, in favor of a socialistic mindset.

    Now, to accomplish all this, we need to indoctrinate our children to be “special” all the while coddling them against reality, as it might hurt their poor tender little psyches.

    Yup, Glenn has it right.

    Don’t ask questions about gummint’s failures, f’rinstance,

    Remember Benghazi — who said, “Stand down.”?

    Laus Deo

  • Anonymous

    I think Glenn might be dimly aware that in Texas, High School Football is the State Religion.

    So, if the parents want to fund an 80 mil stadium, that’s them for that. And yes, it seems to be a bit over the top, but as I said, that’s them for that. Do they loyally cheer their teams on? I suppose most enthusiastically. Do fights break out, in the stands, and/or on the field? Again, I suppose so. That seems to be the nature of the sport. Is it getting out of hand? I don’t know; I’ve never followed sports, don’t care for it, my interests lie elsewhere. But I observe a society’s reflections in its actions in these public gatherings, and wonder where we are headed as a nation.

    Glenn is right in his concerns, and I appreciate his rants to let us see, also, what he sees happening to us, as a nation. And happening, most crucially, to our children. From us, as their parents.

    Indeed, what are we thinking?

    Laus Deo

  • http://www.facebook.com/rigoberto.serrano.39 Pachy Serrano

    I still don’t get GB chants against organized sports. We really need to go back to basis on regards to entertaiment and extra-curriculum activities for children, but if a kid has talent, organized sports could be the best way to go. I do believe school work and education should always be ahead of any organized sports. Well, school, community service, and sports in that order . . .

  • Anonymous

    When my son was little, I put him in T-ball.  I always tried to make sure he had a clean uniform.  But every time it was game time, his uniform was dirty and scattered in four different places.  One sock here the other there the shirt somewhere else and the pants buried somewhere in the dirty laundry because he had worn his uniform to school like it was a costume.  He also would wear it around the house and play in it, but he didn’t care about going to the games.  Also, we would be late for games because I had to drive to all of his friend’s houses to find him because he was always running off to play with someone.  Plus I had a one year old to deal with and a teenage daughter who was turning into a brat.  After a couple years of this, I gave up.  I am a single Mom and I got super, super tired of dragging my kids to all of the junk that I thought I had to have them involved in even though they didn’t care about it, didn’t have any real talent for it, and their Dad’s weren’t helping at all! There is no moral to this story I am telling except that some of us are naturally winners and some of us are naturally losers and I know which category my family falls into.  :(

  • Anonymous

    Another problem with organized sports, in my book, is that so many of the games are played on Sunday morning.  Now I realize more & more parents do not feel that Sunday School/church is important but for those parents who want their kids to experience both church & sports, this makes it impossible. Schedule the games for another day or Sunday afternoon.  (i can hear the dads groaning now…..”not during my time to watch games!”

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