September 17th, 2010
Friday’s Four Cents: Fun, Fair and Positively Obnoxious
Trying to mind my own business while watching Hulu (at work), an assault was waged on my brain. One of the commercial breaks during Covert Affairs (don’t judge me) was for some obnoxious and obvious Communist propoganda. There are only two kinds of commercials in my opinion: Ones that can easily be tuned out and ones that are funny. There’s a third category, but those are mostly infomercials for male enhancement products and Girls Gone Wild (which, when you think about it, is kind of the same thing).
Needless to say, when the pinko bastards at Hulu slipped in a commercial for Fun Fair Positive Soccer I felt the urge to exhume McCarthy’s body, reanimate him using techniques I learned from Robocop and begin the witch hunt. The Communist indoctrination of the children of America must be stopped before it picks up steam.
Fun Fair Positive Soccer is a group that have changed the rules of soccer in order to make sure that all children playing feel equal, uplifted and supported during a positive sporting experience. Isn’t that what getting involved in sports as a child is all about? Making new friends; learning new skills; following rules; overcoming adversity; finding out how to deal with defeat, these are all things that organized sports teach children. What makes Fun Fair Positive Soccer different from any other organization? But more importantly, why do they have large enough a budget to make me care about their cause?
Let’s look beyond the fact that FFPS shows a complete contempt for grammar with the lack of commas in their name. We’re going to have a bunch of rugrats running around feeling great about their new soccer cleats, but don’t give a shit about splitting up adjectives with punctuation. Little Johnny is surely going to feel great about that goal he didn’t score, but when he starts failing English in second grade who’s going to be grounded?
The organization’s name is the tenants on which it’s predicated:
“Fun” is for 5-on-5 soccer, which probably doesn’t deserve an argument against. I’ve played indoor and outdoor soccer and of the two I enjoyed indoor more. For one, less running is always a good thing in my book. Secondly, the pace of the game is quickened which also gets it a nod in favor. But that’s not FFPS‘ reason. It’s really “because there are less people on the field each player will get more touches.” That’s true and it’s fun for everyone involved, but your kids aren’t going to know the rules of the game. All the kids transplanted from Venezuala are going to make fun of Ricky during the World Cup because he won’t understand why there are eleven men on the field.
“Fair” is for each teammate getting equal playing time and having to spend time at each position on the field during a game. Let me tell you something. You’re going to give little Juanita a complex. She’s never going to know what she’s good at. She’ll grow up indecisive and alone because she never could choose a good man. Not to fret, however because all of her cats will get equal petting time.
“Positive” is for the parents. FFPS has deemed it their duty to tell you, the parent, what exactly you are allowed to say at the game. Phrases must begin in “go,” “good,” “great” or “nice.” If you fail to do so you will have to forfeit your weekly bread ration and submit yourself to the Gulag. We’re all aware of the dads and moms that take things a bit too seriously, but is it really necessary to give them flash cards on acceptable things to say at the games?
“Soccer” is for the sport the kids will be playing. Never mind the fact that soccer already has it’s opponents in the USA, this dumbing down of the sport is exactly what naysayers hate about the original sport. You wouldn’t be able to create a Fun Fair Positive Hockey league. Soccer, to the vocal opponents, is befuddling to begin with. Let’s do something that takes the competition out of a sport that is already played to a draw during a good number of matches.
My problem isn’t with FFPS necessarily, it’s that people thought that an organization like FFPS had to exist and that they’re eliminating one of the most important parts about youth sports. Learning about winning and losing is integral to our formative years. Competition is a key way for that learning process to foster itself. If you take that away from the sport you may as well take away the ball as well. If the parents of FFPS want to organize their play-dates with uniforms then let them, but don’t try to make this a pervasive trend to sweep the country.
Sports without keeping score may be one of the silliest premises you could conjure. Actually, that’s only an assumption I am making. I don’t know whether or not they keep score, but that’s because I can’t find the rules on their website which only serves to reinforce my opinion that these are just “play-dates with uniforms.” I do know that there are no all-star teams. Also there are no try-outs. However they say that all the teams are balanced. Quick question, FFPS, how can all the teams be balanced if you don’t know the skill level of each player which one generally gleans from a try-out?
In the end, I wish FFPS good luck. I know that I would never subject a child of mine. Then again, there’s a pretty hefty number of people that would say that I should never have kids. If I am lucky enough for my spawn to roam this earth, they will be learning about winning and losing and the pursuit of improvement. They’re going to have to learn it sooner or later.