By Grant Davies
Regular readers of this blog know how much we like the study of economics here at WWTAW. So when there is a new video out that explains what might happen economically during a zombie apocalypse, we aim to be among the first to bring it to you so you can make some investment decisions ahead of time. It might be too late if you wait for the attack to begin.
PS... Professor Davies is no relation to me. But I'm sure he wishes he was.
Does anyone wonder why so many young people are enthused about the ideas of a somewhat grumpy old doctor? People on college campuses all over the country are tuning out the mainstream media and deciding for themselves. Sometimes we learn from our children and sometimes they learn from us.
Many people have heard about the controversy in Kentucky concerning high school athletes shaking hands after sporting contests.
It seems that a few times in the last several years these kids do more than shake hands with each other. A few fights have broken out among teens who have too much adrenaline and too little commonsense. One of the fights took place after a volleyball game. (Really? Who fights about volleyball?)
My reaction is; duh..ya think? Who would have thought HS kids would have raging hormones and show poor judgement from time to time? After all, isn't high school the place where you continue the process of learning how to think before you act? They don't teach you stuff you already know and many kids don't know how to act yet, thus the handshake/sportsmanship exercise.
What to think about all this? Let's face it, there are bigger problems to think about right now. But there is only so much that can be said about the political theater in Washington and others are covering that ad-nauseum. So when this came up it struck me that other stuff matters too. And I'm just the guy to pontificate about stuff.
If you haven't heard about this yet you can read the story here. Here is what seemed weird to me:
"Kentucky's athletic sanctioning body has ordered high schools not to conduct postgame handshakes in all sports following more than two dozen physical confrontations the past three years."
"Tuesday's directive from Kentucky High School Athletic Association Commissioner Julian Tackett posted on its web site didn't mention specific fights or conflicts but said several fall sports have had postgame incidents. The organization says it's "disappointing" to take such action but that it became necessary because of occurrences statewide and nationally."
So here are some questions that occurred to me:
Am I the only one who thinks that stopping the handshaking instead of addressing the students who have engaged in the unsportsmanlike conduct is a goofy solution? Perhaps the coaching/teaching of the students should be examined as well? Does it seem like there is some copycat behavior going on after these incidents too?
Did the students who participated receive pre-season instruction about the meaning and the importance of the handshake custom? Did the coaches display the attitude that winning was more important than being a solid person? Were students who engaged in the confrontations excused from further participation in the sport? Were they warned that that was what was going to happen when people lost control of themselves?
Were coaches warned that they would face employment problems if they had these situations repeatedly because of emphasis on the games instead of on the character building of the students? Do they know what their actual job is? If they think that winning games instead of winning hearts and minds is their job, are they the right people to be coaching? If you can't teach kids how to develop character by using sports, then what the heck is your program all about anyway?
The problem is that the kids, their parents, and the coaches/teachers do not "get it." Policies that force them to "get it" by removing them from the teams might be a better approach.
I ask these questions, but as you have already guessed I already think I know the answers. Let's ask those who administer the sports these questions and see if they still think stopping the handshakes is a better solution than actually addressing the problem.
Maybe the administrators are the problem. Maybe the parents are the problem. Maybe I should stick to writing about freedom and smaller government.
Addendum: After writing my commentary, Jim Hayes, a regular reader suggested that I read the comments after the original news story at the link. I did, and one really stood out for me. It seems that a guy who likes math did a little calculating on the numbers in the story to see what would pop up. I didn't check his math since I can barely tally up my bar tab to keep the bartender honest, but I think the comment is too good to leave off this post. Here it is as it appeared after the story:
Drchadh 2 hours ago
Lets Break this down: There are 280 member schools in the KHSAA. There are an average of at least 20 games/year (more for some sports/less for others). There are an average of 7 Varsity [not including JV] High School Sports, including both genders (i.e.- Baseball, Softball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Volleyball [some schools have much more]). And utilizing the 3 years they included in their decision with 24 physical occurrences, gives us this formula: 280 x 20 x 7 x 3= 117, 600 games over 3 years. Now lets take that into 24 "physical occurrences": 24 "fights"/117,600 games= 0.0002 So what this tells me is 99.98% of the time it WILL NOT happen! KHSAA, here is an idea, lets teach the 0.02% of the participants to NOT fight by suspending and disciplining them, instead of DISCOURAGING sportsmanship for the other 99.98%. We already have a government in place that tells us how to live our life, we don't need the governing body of high schools telling us as well. Thank you and good night.
Good night and thank you Dr. Chad H, wherever you are.