Friday, November 7, 2014

Grrrrrr.....(by Coach Ryan)

In the fall of 1993, I guy I only knew by his radio call-in name of "Dan from Calhoun", identified himself as a major Philadelphia sports fan.  As the story goes, when Joe Carter hit the home run to win the World Series over the Phillies, Dan punched a hole in the Hitachi big-screen in his dorm's TV room.  21 years ago, that seemed like a pretty funny story, and maybe it was (for everyone other than whoever ended up footing the bill for a new TV).  However, in recent weeks that story has come home to roost in my house, and it's got me thinking.

As our Kansas City-based family enjoyed watching the Royals go on their improbable run through the MLB playoffs during the month of October, there was one aspect of the experience that was troubling.  One of my sons would watch nearly every pitch of every game, and seemed to live and die with every at-bat, every ball/strike call and certainly with the outcome of every game.  Fortunately for us, the Royals put together an 11-4 record in the postseason, so despite losing the last game of the World Series, there was far more winning than losing going on.

But every time a pitch was called a strike against the Royals, especially if it would land outside the computerized strike zone graphic, my son would rage.  He would be spitting mad, usually multiple times every inning.  If a Royals player made a mistake, he was "terrible" or "an idiot".  Attempts at calming the kid down were typically met with defensiveness.  He didn't want to hear it.

I understand that sometimes people react emotionally when their team loses or is on the wrong end of a bad call, but having all this going on while we were watching the games wasn't great.  First, it made me wish my son could enjoy watching his favorite baseball team make a run through the playoffs more.  I guess maybe different people enjoy things differently, but it was hard to see him get so upset about things he obviously had no control over.  Where did he learn that?  Why did it matter to him in a way that affected him so dramatically?  I'm not sure I'll ever know.

After the end of game 7, after the Royals fell by a 3-2 score, he was really upset.  I gave him a hug and said that my hope for him would be that he could learn to enjoy things that were meant to be enjoyed.  He responded with, "you mean, like losing?"  I said, "no, like baseball."

You can do whatever you want, but for me, I really do hope that all my children can learn to enjoy and appreciate the sports they watch (and play), without letting them affect their outlook on life or their own self-image.  Anything else can be a dangerous, and not very fun road to travel, both for them and the people closest to them as well.


Rob Stewart said...

Great Story Ryan,
for many years, I lived and I died with my sports teams, remember the Royals of the late 70's and 80's, always very competitive, then distaster hit as our team got older, and a few poor decisions, miscalulations, more mis fires and in the tank for 20+ years, yuk, hard to be a loyal fan, but every year, it began with HOPE. In the end, Hope ran out, I was dis-appointed "AGAIN". Like a death in the family was happening as I watched them fall out of the race. Then in 2008, i started walking a new path with Jesus, he chaged everthing, perspective of sports changed, i began to enjoy the journey, had peace whether I watched a game or missed the "BIG" games, only God could change my heart and mind to "rest" and enjoy the "sport". Don't even get me started on my Jayhawks, even bigger loss when they would fall out of the NCAA tournamet, talk about life crushing, no hope weeks afterwards. Boy, letting HOPE and PEACE into my heart and mind has made it fun again. Teach um early, you can't, but Jesus can change your heart and mind to live EN JOY, HE IS JOY. Ask him to fill you with crazy JOY. ka-POW
We truly can not just wake up and choose JOY, we have to ask HIM to instill JOY in us, its his spirit of JOY, PEACE and LOVE....

Rob Stewart said...

FYI, that sure makes me a better little league baseball coach and basketball coach too. ah what PEACE can do. His PEACE is FREE!

Rob Stewart said...

FYI to A L L,
We all "gots" milk of anger in us, we can look none furter than sports to see it in the stands, in coaches and players, things GO MY WAY, i am oh so nice, but when a border line call or blatently bad call comes, how do "I" react? Like a man of PEACE or waging PEACE against the tide rolling 18" from my heart to my mouth. Waging Peace, wow, or am I ready at a drop of a coin to wage WAR, in my home, in front of my kids, in front of parents and administrators. What is my RE:ACTION is it PEACE in the fire or FLAMES bursting from my heart? Trust me, our wives know, our KIDS know and they will certainly model what they see in daddy too. How do I know, because when I asked Jesus to shine HIS LIGHT in me, it was one of MY own idols, anger. Where did it come from? How about the childhood divorce, separation, abandonment, loss of my girlfriend, the PAST. But Jesus healed it, why? Because I admitted it, I said, Jesus "HEAL" me, shine your LIGHT in me, destroy the darkness, let your light shine, when its hot and my blood boils, cool it with your living water so I don't live my coaching days, my parenting days, my husband days like a fool....