Chivalry gets Sucker Punched

A 14 year old has to learn this somewhere.  The other boy’s lip will heal, but will Lady Chivalry?

23 thoughts on “Chivalry gets Sucker Punched

  1. Sports, which from all I can tell, started out with gentlemen who WERE chivalrous but, as with everything else today, has become an acceptable place for bullies and sore losers. As we all know, the parents can be the worst of all!! I actually get embarrassed standing next to some of these (usually Dads, but not always) parents at games who are berating kids and their coaches. Sometimes we’re talking about kinder soccer or t-ball …. little tykes! Goodness sakes … the kids are 6 years old! Let them have some fun.

    Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the fat-lipped kid did/said something to really ‘set off’ the other kid. Sometimes kids (usually boys) know of no other way to be left alone than to finally sock the other one. (He definitely chose the wrong place to settle his differences.) Yet, the really obnoxious thing is that I’m seeing it in girls’ sports now, too. Now, I was never a jock … not because my generation didn’t have the offerings. I tried track & field, soft ball, field hockey and did some swimming. The field hockey girls were a bit ‘tough’. But, nothing like today. I was definitely NOT someone anyone wanted on their team and quickly learned to stick with my geekie music friends … however, I have an athletic daughter and I get shocked as to how MEAN some girls are. They walk, talk and act like tough BOYS. (No offense.) So, although some people think that qualities are not culturally influenced but purely inborn, I must disagree. I think there are definitely inborn traits, but I think much is learned. This is a case in point. Sixty years ago, that boy would be off the team (maybe both boys) and the other boys would have ‘shunned’ him, I believe. (Granted, I wasn’t alive 60 yrs ago but from talking with those who were and reading books on such athletes, I feel things have changed.) I keep waiting for the pendulum to swing back over .. still waiting!

  2. “Sports build character” is oft repeated, and in most cases true.

    The problem is, if sports are left to be coached and run by men with poor character, that is the character you can expext to be built.

    Parents (as though they needed me to tell them) need to be careful to really have a good idea about the character of the coaches, and the other children on a team. Why let them build something you will just have to spend time un-doing?

  3. Asimplesinner:

    So true! The trouble is that when you sign your child up for a sport (esp town sports which are the cheapest) you have little say as to who your child gets as a coach. They are trying to divy up teams fairly and then try to get siblings on the same team or kids who are depending upon another kid to get them to practice … then they’re dealing with kids who, say, cannot do a practice on Mon or Wed so that kid needs to be on a team that practices on Tues and/or Thurs,, etc etc You get the picture. So, many times you get what you get. Some years you get a great coach with great kids … other years, you aren’t so lucky.

    so, I say stick to music 🙂 !! Slightly biased here … still very character building, requires team work and dedication … plus you get a bit of ‘culture’ in there and rarely have to witness fist fights!! But, alas, it doesn’t help those active kids that NEED to get their energy out. In that case, part of the character building is acquiring the scrapes and callouses that Doug Barry (Radix) mentions … those things come from the hard knocks in life, I’m afraid. It’s always the painful things that build character, it seems.

    However, it’s true that a sucker punch has always been known to be a very low blow and hopefully will get handled correctly.

  4. JA –

    I can appreciate the dilemma – trasnportation and logistics for over-booked kids is no easy feat. Air-traffic controllers could get lost trying to help some families!

    Some homeschoolers I know opted to put their daughters in dance lessons and have their sons take judo which is a defensive martial art (learn to deflect punches, not throw them!). Maybe an option like that is the better route to go if one is iffy on team sport opportunities? Just a thought.

    My experience with athletics growing up wasn’t that terrific… The behavior of the parents annoyed my mother to the point that she planned to “gently talk me out of it” in favor of trumpet lessons or anything else I wanted to do. By the time the end of the seasons came around, I didn’t need to be talked out of it – I wanted out.

  5. Hello asimplesinner,

    Thanks for your thoughts and they’re good thoughts at that! we’ve definitely tried some of them ourselves. Some become quite costly and demanding. The martial arts becomes very demanding and the belts and what-not keep making you hear ‘ka-ching’. Plus, I was getting concerned about the eastern philosophy that is so prevelent in martial arts. I will say that the running sports (track and cross-country) are typically a GREAT group of kids and very supportive of one another. In fact, they’re usually the *geeks* which is FINE by me. Plus, it’s just the cost of a good pair of sneakers. 🙂 But, as with everything, things have gotten quite competitive lately. The good thing with the running sports though is that there are different heats so you can find a heat that you feel successful in. However, it can be very BORING to some kids. My older son, for instance, really prefers team sports. This is where the testosterone gets a bit more testy, if you will!!! sigh. (Thus the sucker punch!)

    Like you, I didn’t have a good experience with sports and poured my energy into my violin instead. I think people put WAY too much emphasis on sports imho. But, I usually get the feeling that people are ready to throw tomatoes at me when I voice this. Blogs are safe in this regard.

  6. In total agreement with Frangelo. Longsword, Archery, Gauntlet, Pig slaughter, chicken slaughter, all good for boys. Yes I said Pig and Chicken slaughter, the boys have to know that you don’t by your food from some huge chain store. If you are a true man you kill it, skin it, eat it.
    So a kid got suckerpunched, what about swirlies, and wedges that go on unoticed? All the more reasons to not involve yourself in the brainwashed, socialistic society that revolves around sports that are “organized”.

  7. Sports is the American religion. There are several 24/7 sports cable stations, radio stations, magazines, newspapers, etc, etc, etc… Many, if not most conversations in the office center on sports. Ad nauseum. Athletes, most of whom I wouldn’t trust as far as my daughters can throw them, are idolized. Have you ever noticed the level of historical and tactical sports knowledge that many people have? Where do they find the time to learn this stuff? Why do they learn this stuff? (Does anyone have a life anymore?) …And I ‘m talking about amongst adults. When kids see professional millionaire tattooed skull mushed punks doing drugs and getting into fights with nary a slap on the wrist for it – while dad, and mom, spend hours in front of the living room god worshipping the NFL and hold season tickets to the current seasonal gladiator games of choice, what else is a child to conclude? My kids aren’t even allowed to watch the NBA. The visuals of what the players represent alone are scandalous. Nevermind what they do and say.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy listening to or watching a certain game occasionally. It’s a nice diversion. But when a family “doesn’t have time” to even eat dinner together, but can taxi the kids to soccer, baseball & football, and research the Sox, Celts & Pats – something is seriously askew in our culture. Sports are way too important. And when it gets so important, one might even sucker punch another when they lose…

    Sports are fine for fun, and even for learning discipline – but kids will learn alot more discipline and virtue by changing some diapers and moving some logs for the sake of contributing to their family.

  8. “If you are a true man you kill it, skin it, eat it.”

    We could bring say, 30 or so live chickens to the next encampment for Saturday dinner. It could be one of the stations. Each team processes their own dinner. Say the word. I’ll have to order them soon.

    What’s the date for the next encampment?

  9. Someone warn Fr. Bonaventure about his poor chickens …. I think they’re in grave danger!

    Tennis anyone?? I’ve thought of that for my littlest tyke. I know a number of 70 to 80 year olds who play tennis and are in tip-top shape because of it. Plus, they really enjoy it. I was too darn uncoordinated to handle it but maybe I can live vicariously through my children. Hmmm.

  10. “Plus, I was getting concerned about the eastern philosophy that is so prevelent in martial arts. “

    That is why I mentioned judo… I have seen the least of it there. It is largely free of that and is treated more like a sport than a meditation, although some instructors might call the students of the dojo to begin with a period of silence for getting focussed.

    The late Fra’ Andrew Bertie, Grandmaster of the Knights of Malta, had a blackbelt in judo with several degrees to it and spent his free time instrucing disadvantaged children…

    Just a thought.

  11. Sheesh, all the sports hate!

    No apologies for the thuggery and whether the offender learned it from Dad or too much x-box and “Ultimate Fighting” on pay-per-view cable.

    That said I’m wrapping up coaching a 7-9 yr old coach pitch baseball team this weekend and sports are just a great way to instruct the kids in life. The Maloney example may be different in that we are in a home-school sports league (200+ kids, 20 teams t-ball through girls softball) where the emphasis is on teaching and sportsmanship.

    We don’t take any hooliganism (parents or kids) and have only rare cases of it anyways. While the league and my team are mostly made up of “our separated brethren” (this being Virginia y’all), half my little squad go to my parish and before we take the field we all start In nomine Patris et fillii et Spiritus Sancti, Amen. I’m getting some push back though on “Our Lady of Victory, Pray for Us!”

    Knights, doesn’t matter if it’s baseball, longswords, slaughtering fowl, or violin (???). Teach them, lead them.

    God Bless
    Jerry

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  13. Jen,

    I am touched.

    Jerry,

    I like that. Clearly there is a tension between bring religious values into sports and turning sports into a religion. I am sure some sports programs are redeemable and some are not–at least not as long as the “religious zealots” of Olympus have their way.

    BTW, I am still waiting for one of you guys to take up longsword and start teaching. Geessh.

  14. Well … it does seem like there was a lot of sports bashing. I have to say that most years, my kids have had great coaches and if parents can be kept in line, they really have had a lot of fun, gotten exercise and learned to deal with frustration, injuries and everything else that happens during sports. So, truly it’s not all bad. I think it’s a case of where a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. Also, I think the pressure to perform at higher and higher levels can get ridiculous. This past year, my son was asked to play on the AAU Basketball league. They practiced 2ce a week, had drills on another night or two, had scrimages on Friday nights with pizza and then games on Saturday and Sunday … all for $800. I said, “What are you crazy??? I’m not willing to sell our souls (and those of my kids) to basketball! These kids are 12-14 year olds for Pete’s sake.” Well, of course I should have just said, “No thank you” which would have spared me the looks and talking behind my back. But, I just want someone to recognize how insane all of this is! But, like someone said, it has become their life .. their religion … their god, I fear. That’s the part of sports that drives me bananas. And … with that level of stress on the kids, no wonder some of them snap and sucker punch each other. They have no life outside of these sports. The same could happen with longsword, too, I’m quite sure. Look at all activities in the Olympics … a toe-loop was a big deal in skating, then it became double and triple and now they’re doing quadruple toe-loops!! Swimming and running have had kids training a whole year just to shave an extra second off their times. Are they having any fun?? Maybe but it’s hard to imagine.

    Well … enough of this. Sports certainly have their redeeming qualities so I just wanted to say that.

  15. The dates for the next encampments are July 18-20th, and Oct. 10-12th.

    Now to answer the swirle question, it is kind of a “Don’t ask don’t tell” kind of policy, strictly boy’s bullying type of thing.

    I have to say that I did participate in sports in High School, wrestleing, and cross-country. These sports the only one you competed against to make yourself better, was in fact yourself. I will say that I did have fun in both of theese sports, and the harder I did train the better I got. It was very self gratifying. It gave me self-confidence when I needed it, and they made me stronger back then in order for me to be strong against evil today.

    We live in a society, as Steve stated, where sports are a religion. That prettty much sums it up…

    Jerry that is great that you have a “homeschool” leauge. Hopefully by the time my kids are old enough there might be something like that up here in theese parts. Or you could just come back, and start one.

    Steve the chicken slaughter is a brilliant idea, and I will have to pass it by the Grand Pubha, if not for teh summer, then perhaps for the fall. Father Bonaventure won’t have to worry about his chickens, seeing as all they will be locked up in the Fort Knox of chicken coops that he is building.

  16. I’ve coached youth sports for 14 years (hockey & soccer) and been involved in many other activities as a youth organizer of some sort. I get very tired of the “My child will be the next pro” concept among the parents. Another is “ITS THEIR RIDE TO COLLEGE” Both are hog wash. The odds of making it to the pros is a little better than getting hit by lightning but not much better. Then look at the pros they have sold their souls. Its the new concept of Gladiators, pay them enough to enslave them but the real winner is the owner of the team. This being said, the losers are the fans and then the athletes, look how many suffer from their injuries,poor family life, addictions, etc. why? For the sake of the game? Nooooooo, for the sake of Money and Fame?

    A free ride to college? Come on people its not a free ride, the athlete is exploited and manipulated, many of the athletes that have scholarships don’t complete their degrees. Yes a percentage does, but its a percentage (no matter what the number). If its truly a free ride then they would have received a degree, right? college sports is just exploitation, just like the pros, it sets the institution up financially. Its all about the money.

    My dear old dad used to preach to me TRADE MY BOY, TRADE. He’s right college has its point, but too much emphasis is put on it.

    Sports is supposed to teach a young person how to function within a group, NOT DISFUNCTION AS WE’VE SEEN HERE. The problem is the boys without a doubt, but why does he have this attitude to begin with? Parents are not bringing up their chidlren. The institution, or the TechnoBOX at the house, or better yet the wonderful Television culture is raising the child. Parents are failing because they have become complacent, they complain about having to get up to change a channel because the remote isn’t at their finger tips, yet they try to raise children, this is what we get. Its not the sports its the lack of parenting, its the parents living through the child, its the parent who has better things to do than raise the child. Folks what is the point.

    Every president and presidential candidate says they have the answer to the problem of the family, yet somehow we always get worse. I know the answer, raise your kids properly, teach them morals, ethics, and sprituality stop teaching them that they can be the next great (insert name here) of their favorite sport. It can happen, it might happen, but its a real long shot and the amount of commitment needed to obtain that level is ridiculous. They lose out on so many other aspects of life.

    I am a big promoter of kids in sports, but when this happens it leaves a foul stench in the air. It shows what we as a society are coming to, we are becoming beats. To quote a great priest recently “GET OVER IT” this is only a game.

    Sportsmanship isn’t taught any longer, only the victory. The most fun I’ve ever had playing sports was with a group of men who got together every Wednesday night to play hockey. IT WAS JUST FUN. Sure we competed, yes I learned a little bit more technique, but no league, no refs, just gentlemen getting together and just having fun.

    People enjoy the games, parents root for your children, have fun! Don’t get too serioius, it becomes, as you can see in this video, idiotic.

    What happened to the girls who helped their opponent with the Home Run? THAT IS THE WAY SPORTS ARE TO BE PLAYED!

  17. Which is why I gave up on town sports a while back. It went from working as a team, to being victorious. Everyone was a ball hogger, the parents were too ‘serious’ into it, and it was just a prelude to what happened here. No sportsmanship.

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