Letters to the Editor

Letter: Other guys?

December 24, 2013

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To the editor:

On Dec. 19, the Journal-World published a story entitled “The Other Guys,” which distinguished two “star” players on the Lawrence High School varsity boys’ basketball team from the “other” boys on the team.  This unfortunate nickname was repeated by one of the “stars” in a post-game interview.

As someone who knows two of those “other guys,” I was highly offended by that designation. It immediately reduces the team to just two players who are simply supported by the other kids in uniform. Don’t you know that basketball is a TEAM sport? Don’t you know that learning to work as a team is a character-building experience for boys of this age? How dare you interfere with their development as caring, sharing young men with strong self-esteem and the ability to celebrate the good in others.

Maybe sportswriters regularly slap quippy titles on the athletes they cover. Maybe it’s acceptable for NBA players — men who have the stats, the egos and the salaries to justify those nicknames. But let’s not forget that the LHS Lions are boys who are becoming men. Don’t underestimate the long-term damage you can do by labeling these young people just for a clever headline. Let’s do a better job of building up ALL of these boys instead of just two whose scoring stats are made possible by the hard work and the awesome talent of the so-called “other guys.”

Comments

Brock Masters 1 year, 7 months ago

Wow we must have read two completely different stories because my take on it is 180 to yours.

The story wasn't about the two star players but the other team members and how they capitalize on the opposing teams focus on the two players. They enjoy the role they play and they play it well.

It was a positive story that highlighted team play and kids who may not be the star player but who are successful and happy in their role. Not everyone can be the star, some take a supporting role. This makes for a successful team.

The article recognized these players and their contributions.

Scott Burkhart 1 year, 7 months ago

Writers generally write about the stars of the team and everyone else is relegated to "the other guys." That's life. When I was growing up there were the "stars" and there were guys like me. The difference being, then from now, we didn't get participation medals and trophies along the way. There was a first place trophy, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons, and then the "rest" of the league got to stand at the rewards ceremony and clap for them. When my children were growing up, everyone got a trophy. Everyone got a ribbon. Nobody "lost." It has been exhibited time and time again that when we worry about damaging the self esteem of those that didn't win, place, or show, we set them up to expect reward for participation and "effort." Life does not reward us for effort and it shouldn't. We are rewarded for results in life. It's ok to pat your child on the back and ask them if they gave their best. In a case like that, you are reinforcing that 100% effort is a matter of self respect and being the best teammate possible, not the result desired. The result desired is to win, to achieve, to be the best but there will always be someone better. Here is something to pass along: 2nd place is really 1st place......in the loser's bracket.

Brock Masters 1 year, 7 months ago

Good points. I saw a child's show once where they played a game called losing is fun.

BS - losing is not fun. It is a part of life but it isn't fun. It isn't something to be ashamed of if you gave it your best and displayed good sportsmanship, but it isn't fun.

I am glad that my children have been stars but I am also glad they have tasted defeat too. Prepares them for real life. They know nothing is given to them they have to earn it.

Most people can name the starting quarterback and star running back but have no clue who the guard or tackle are. Just the way it is.

This is the problem with our country today, people all think they deserve the same perks and privileges that go to the star player. You don't. Accept your role and be the best you can, but realize we are created equal and then we take our first breath out of the womb and then everything changes.

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