From Rags to Riches………to Destruction
My dad was a teen during WW2, and in 5th grade the schools were forced to close. The war had taken more from people that we can imagine today. His schooling days ended in 5th grade. Four years later he couldn’t go back to school, why? The war had created “Poverty”…It was far more important to find a way to eat than to learn.
Why would I share that? And how does it relate to sports? It does, believe me it does. I hope you continue reading.
The NBA and the NFL more so than the other sports are made up of incredibly talented young men, and most have one similarity in their background, poverty. Yes that dirty word. Poverty created by no education, no desire to be better, no will to want to be better, or simply bad luck.
My dad taught me these huge lessons as a kid.
1. You better go to school and have a degree, because that is how you never meet Miss. Poverty.
2. Your work ethic has to be better than anyone else, not equal to, not almost, but better. No matter how much schooling you have, you must want to be the best, and Mrs. Poverty will never be your friend.
3. Help others, if you are able to, help, but do not just give the help. People should have to earn that help, no matter how big or small the repayment is. If you just give, you create laziness, and eventually they expect you to help. And that is why Mr. Poverty sleeps in their homes.
The young men of the NFL (we don’t care about the spoiled brats from the NBA here), were mostly born in low-income areas, and in many cases raised by grandparents. Poverty for these guys was a way of life…but, they have what most dream of having, talent. That God given talent is usually their ticket out of that miserable existence.
However, I do have to revisit the three things my dad thought me and apply them here.
1. School? Yea these guys go to school, but at what price? Are they truly schooled in HS and college? I think not, the entire idea that they are on a college scholarship is a sham, and shame on all involved for calling it that. Lets face it, this kids are working for the “money-making schools”. They should be called what they are, professional college athletes. But, I blame the High School the most. There is no need to push them to learn. Coaches lie for them, ask for favors from teachers, or the teachers themselves wouldn’t dare fail a HS Star; The end result, no schooling behind the 5-6 grades.
2. Work Ethic? These kids have never known what that means. Marginal Players have to work hard to play, but the guys that star and eventually make it to the big game, don’t need to. In this case Colleges are better than High Schools. Most College coaches expect hard work, and as my dad said, hard work ends up paying off. The NFL welcomes them, what the NFL is not willing to see, is that they are getting damaged goods. Getting a kid from these backgrounds to actually become a model citizen has become like playing Russian roulette on draft day.
3. The most important lesson is #3. When those High Schools were handing these kids the keys to success, and those colleges just allowed them to pass classes without actually working, they were creating problem children. They expect handouts, and don’t you dare expect them to act like the professionals they get paid to be; basically the league just owes them more and more.
My dad has always said “There is no greater motivation in life than hunger and poverty”. That poverty should motivate you to succeed and never look back, except to remember how you do not miss starving.
The NFL owners, like immature daddies, have contributed to the problem, and are still doing so. When these spoiled brats get out of College, nobody points guns to their heads to give them 100M+ to a kid that has never even dressed in the NFL. They chose to, because they want to be better than their counterparts (the other owners). In doing so, they created spoiled athletes that just expected more and more.
How did they fix it? They put in rules that stop the owners from overpaying. Basically, if your kid keeps asking you for more money, instead of saying no, you hide your wallet.
Society has become spoiled in every which way, and no place is more evident than in sports today. How do you fix it?
- Force High Schools to teach, and spot check on them. If caught, eliminate sports for that HS for a year. Eventually that will hurt their pockets too, and they will realize that they have one simple job to do, teach.
- Require a college degree to be employed by the NFL. What job can you get making even $100,000 without a degree?
Thanks for reading, and please keep in mind that these are strictly my opinions and not of the web site.
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