Sports Are Fun. Testing Not So Much.


I have gone through different stages in my life.

From long-hair to shaved (again, way cooler than bald).  From student to superintendent (I haven’t been out of school since 1972).  From poor to making money and still being poor (why do bills arrive in direct proportion to the amount of money you earn?).clip_image001

Politically, I’ve gone from being a Democrat to Republican to Independent to Disenchanted to Just Confused and Hurt.

I’ve also been through stages regarding the amount of importance I place on athletics.

When I was a kid, there was nothing more important.

My world revolved around anything and everything that involved a bat, ball, club, basket, goal, or a game.

I knew every player (and their stats… and sadly, birthday) in every league.  Including hockey and indoor soccer (Go St. Louis Steamers!!!).

Then I grew up (sort of) and became a coach.  I still took sports seriously, but I began to see it wasn’t the only thing that mattered.

Losing does that to you.

After giving up coaching (I think it was my decision), I became a school administrator (also, my decision… I think).

At this point in my life I began to see athletics were just one of the many things that drove me crazy and made my phone ring (landline… old school).

Sports became less fun and more of a hassle.

I began to see athletics as a bother.  I was confused as to why parents didn’t care about testing as much as they did about sports.

Now I’m starting to come full circle.

Maybe I’m growing.  With age comes wisdom (at least that’s what old people tell young people).  Or more likely, I’m just a little less stupid (I’m so old, I remember when stupid was a bad word in school).

As I head into my golden years, I’m beginning to see there’s nothing more important than athletics.  Especially to a small town.

It’s the one thing that ties people together.

Successful small-town sports are like the Olympics.  People will support them even when they don’t personally know the participants.

Or understand the game.

I don’t have a clue about curling, but I’m the #1 fan every four years when the Winter Olympics is on 27 hours a day (USA! USA! USA!)

Community members behave in much the same way.  They may not like football, but if their favorite bag boy at the grocery store is the quarterback… suddenly they have a rooting interest.

They like the feeling they get when their team is doing well.

I’m willing to bet I could go to any town in America and spot a person wearing their high school colors within 2 minutes.

This is because people love belonging to a group.  This feeling is magnified when the group (team) is successful.

Schools and sports can provide this at a local level.

And at a much cheaper price than college or professional sports.

This is why, now and forever, people will always be more passionate about their kids (or neighbors) playing a game than they will about test scores.

It’s just more fun.

I’m not saying this is right.  I’m just saying this is the way it is.

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I’ve Been Gone. And Now the Good and the Bad.


In glancing at my blog, I just realized that I haven’t posted in close to a week. This is NOT the Baby in Question

This could be a new record.

Depending on your opinion, this could be a good thing or bad thing (haters).

Since I started blogging in the early 1900’s, I have prided myself on quantity.

As with anything in life, I think showing up is half the battle.

Which in blogging terms (and my own head), I don’t have to be good… I just have to blog a lot.

I’ve seldom gone longer than 3 or 4 days before typing up some more new crap and posting it online.

In my mind, I’m making the world a little dumber one blog at a time.  Sure that sounds bad, but I do it for the kids.

Not really, but you have to admit anytime you say “It’s for the kids”, it sounds good.

The reason I haven’t blogged in several days is because I’ve been gone.

To Miami.

And now I’m back.

Sure I could have blogged during my trip, but who wants to type when it’s 75 degrees and sunny?

Blogging is for people north of the Mason-Dixon line.  I’m pretty sure that’s why so many Canadians are into technology (have I mentioned they make me nervous… there is no way we can win a snowball fight with them if they decide to attack on a cold and snowy night… I’m just saying…).

Canadians blog and Tweet.  A lot.

But honestly, what else are they going to do?   How many hockey games can one person watch?  And if they get bored with that… Curling?  Canadian football?

To get to Miami, I had to fly.

While I don’t hate flying, I’m quite content living my life on land.

In fact, I’m relatively new to this whole climbing aboard a giant metal tube, hurling through the air at 97,000 feet, all the while letting a perfect stranger drive (note to self:  it might not be a good thing to see a guy in the airport bar and later see him walk out of the cockpit).

Whenever my plane is taking off or landing, I always say a few Catholic prayers…which is odd, since I’m not Catholic. 

The good news is I survived the trip.

And I feel like I have a better understanding of traveling.  I can now spot a Cinnabon store from 1,000 feet away.

I also got picked up by a car service.  Let’s not kid ourselves; that is cool.

Really cool.

A guy standing in the airport holding up a sign with your name on it.

You have to admit, it beats taking the shuttle.

Plus as an added bonus, my personal driver was named Tony and he’s originally from the South Bronx.  I’m not saying he’s in the Witness Relocation Program, but I’m pretty sure he’s in the Witness Relocation Program.

He said if I had any trouble in South Florida to let him know.

I said “What kind of trouble?”  He said “Any trouble.”

Again, pretty cool.   A car and the ability to have someone whacked.

Life is good.

The car service and the weather were both great.

It was nice to listen to people whine about the cold weather when it was 70 degrees.

I am sorry to say the trip wasn’t totally perfect.

There was an incident (which is good news for someone responsible for cranking out several mediocre to poor blogs a week… but remember “It’s for the kids”)

On the flight down, I was sitting in my aisle seat minding my own business.

Then I made the mistake of all mistakes.

I looked across the aisle to see a young mother and her newborn baby (have to admit… not that excited to see them board the plane, less excited to see them sit right beside me).

What I saw was both disturbing and shocking.

The mother was feeding the baby.  And not in a bottle kind of way.

In a way, I’m not comfortable with.

Now before the hateful emails start rolling in, I am not against breastfeeding… I just need some warning.

A simple “Excuse me, you may not want to look this way unexpectedly for the next 20 minutes or so”… would have been nice.

Or maybe a blanket over the baby.  Maybe a blanket over everything.  Maybe a blanket over anything.

But no.

It was all out there.

I don’t think flying will ever be the same for me.

The next time I see a mother and her baby get on my flight, my first thought won’t be about the possibility of the baby crying.

Best joke I heard on the trip:  Don’t worry if one of the engines on your plane fails… the second engine will take you directly to the crash site.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.