Bo Jack is back, I’m on the attack about kids that don’t know the sound of the crack when the ball hit’s the bat, and exposure to sports that today’s kids now lack. There is no greater joy than sliding into the sack(baseball) or giving a football a good whack for a kickoff.
I will now describe a time further back, when we all played sports, many kids today don’t do jack.
Enough with the rhymes, this makes my soul cringe.
A good friend of mine told me his nephew came to visit. For an entire weekend he played Play Station Two, never once taking his eyes off the toy. They took him for a beautiful ride through the San Bernardino Mountains, and he never looked to see the pines, the mountains, or the massive drop-offs far below. When they got back to the house, he even ate dinner while still glued to the thing. My friend is still pretty much a newlywed, so they wanted a little alone time. They say to the boy,” Why don’t you go outside to play”?
He looked at them and said,” Play what”?
This is a sad dilemma facing today’s society.
When I was a kid, we rode our bikes to a friend’s house, with a bat, a mitt, and hopefully a ball, but we could make do, even without one, with substitutions. How many of you remember saying, “Mom, can I go out and play“? If our friends weren’t home, we went on a mission, picking up a few neighborhood kids along the way.
When we found our friends, we went to the little league field, and if too many people were there, we’d find another one.
Today, when a kid calls another kid, it’s hey want to come over and play Xbox or Play Station?
Many have never heard the sound when the ball hit’s the sweet spot, the crack of the bat when you KNOW it’s gone without even looking.
We usually had maybe a buck or two, we shared a Big Gulp or a soda, maybe a candy bar, we didn’t get incomprehensible diseases and die, we didn’t have Dial anti-bacterial soap.
If we didn’t have a ball, we’d find a rock to hit.
We didn’t have cell phones to call friends, If we wanted a friend to join us, we went to their house on foot or by bicycle, if lucky, we might get a ride, but that wasn’t standard protocol.
If we skinned a knee, we didn’t call 911 on our gay little cell phone, we toughed it out because we had to take the journey home.
Today, those days are lost, gone are the days when we would find an old tire, a piece of plywood to make a jump for our bikes to see who can get in the worst crash. We went to the public swimming pool all summer, our friends would all be there. Tons of them, not just one sitting in front of the TV for hours.
Sure, I had PONG, but what kid didn’t? but after a while of that, we still got out and found something fun, while usually stupid, to occupy our time with. We rode down enormous hills on skateboards or roller-skates, We used to take my moped into a local lake after rain and lose our shoes in 8’deep mud & muck. We played football in the rain, just to slip and slide around, because it was fun. When a friend invited you for B-ball, we brought a basketball and played basketball. Now it means come sit on my living room floor and play dumb video games.
I realize this is a different world, and technology is great, but some modern day progression is often regression, think about that.
I know some parents and kids do activities, but they will never know the joy and creativity that we were able to do when mom just wanted you out of the house, and we always found a way to entertain ourselves.
We climbed up mountain trails, we’d find canyons to explore. We played little league, Pop Warner, we threw eggs at people and ran away. We bought ice blocks and slid down hills, almost guaranteeing injury or death, we were kids, doing what kids do. What do they do now? Often drugs and not much else.
I hope no parents of active kids take my meaning wrong, but as a whole, we have lost a great deal of ingenuity and development of young minds.
So people, take a football to the park with your kids, take them to a beach and throw a Frisbee, give them a tennis ball to play fetch with the family pup, tell them your old glory days tales.
Tales of high school football. Interest them in sports.
How can you appreciate Madden Football if you’ve never played tackle football with your friends?
Please, if nothing else, take them to the batting cages, and let them hear the sounding crack of a ball destined to clear the fence. You know the one, when you left the game of the week on the television just for a second to go in the kitchen, and you hear it, the crack of the bat that you know just tied the game. don’t let innovation and past treasures die, keep the older way alive.
Small confession: I too had the hand held Mattel football game with the little red L.E.D. players. God Bless.