First of all, I fully admit I come from a different era. My sons remind me quite often. Actually, it’s more like it’s obvious when I was born by the questions I ask them. Yesterday, it was panic time when my wife and I tried to stream a game from her iPad onto our 55″ television, using Apple TV that he gave us about a year and a half ago. We called in a frenzy and he talked us through it.
While I am well behind the times regarding anything technological, I understand how important the advances in that area are. Naturally, progress is mandatory in order for people to advance the quality of living, although the not talking to people, i.e. texting, emailing, instagramming, snapchatting in lieu of actual conversation, does freak me out quite a bit. I just can’t believe that not having dialogue with other human voices throughout a workday (or worse, a day away from work) makes us a better society.
How we speak to one another has come under fire. Everyone (at least every coach) can remember the Mike Rice situation at Rutgers. It was horrifying to see how degrading and humiliating those videos were. There wasn’t, nor could there have been justification for such harsh actions and words.
That said, when Vanderbilt’s Kevin Stallings was caught on camera saying to one of his players that he was going to kill him – and dropping an F-bomb in the “threat,” it became national news. Let’s start with the “going to kill you” part. How many times have you been so mad at someone (perhaps one of your children), you said, “I’m going to kill you!” to him/her? Were you really planning on killing that person? Now, let’s deal with the F-bomb.
For the first 24 years of my life, I lived in New Jersey. I played three sports in high school and one in college. While I can’t come up with the exact number of coaches I had (including assistants), the number had to be upwards of 20. There might have been one or two who didn’t curse (although I can’t recall any) but, right or wrong, it was a way of life. The joke used to be, “I’m from New Jersey where we’re bilingual. We speak English and profanity.”
Just because there’s a movement to be politically correct, don’t think someone who grew up with profanity to be able to immediately wipe it from their vocabularies. (If we looked, I imagine we could find something everyone says or does that offends someone). Should that type of language be verboten in the military? If you say yes, maybe you can start a cult of your own and move elsewhere, preferably to a different planet. If you think that people in that line of training, who may be called to put their lives in danger, should be allowed to slip up every now and then, consider some may get into coaching when they leave the military. Which happens to be the case with the all-time winningest coach in college hoops. Several years ago, a student from the school newspaper was granted access to practice. He lambasted Mike Krzyzewski for the language he used. It seems he was the only one in the gym who was offended. Everyone else listened more to the “other words” and all have felt they became better people because of it. Not sure who that student reporter influenced.
In yesterday’s paper I saw an article in which the New York Mets captain David Wright apologized to pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard for scolding him for eating lunch in the clubhouse during an intrasquad game. The reason for the apology? Wright did it within earshot of the media. How could what Noah Syndergaard did be reported in any other way than acting
like a horse’s ass unprofessionally? In today’s world, if Wright hadn’t said anything, the media would have called his leadership skills as a captain into question.
How you look at people has changed, too. I was alerted, via the Internet, to a YouTube video of Kenny Smith giving “the once over” look to Carrie Keagan at the NBA Fashion Show. She is sitting on the table where Smith is seated and says, “Meet Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors” and he begins looking up at her, until his eyes scan downward. I checked it out. His eyes were moving during the “Golden State” part – maybe one second. Check for yourself. And he gets criticized for that? She ought to be flattered! Heck, she probably is!
It’s others who find such stares as those of a morally bankrupt individual. One comment called him a “pig.” For looking at a girl. Are we that PC that guys can’t check out pretty women who, by the way, know what they look like – and do their best to look that way.
As H. Jackson Browne, Jr. said:
“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.”