With the NCAA Tournament officially underway…the kids ready to try and take their schools to unprecedented heights…coaches ready to pull out what’s left of their hair…and millions upon millions of regular citizens trying to obtain the unimaginable perfect bracket, March Madness is here! And while most of us will cheat our bosses and try and watch games live from our computers and many of us will over-indulge in pizza, beer and wings, there’s an underlying factor many, including the media, don’t pay much attention to.
When you sit back and watch one of these games nervously as you hope to keep your perfect bracket, just remember that these are kids out there playing their hearts out. If you think, even for just a fraction of a second, that any one of these kids wants to lose a game at this stage, you’d be labeled as a moron. These are kids whom have basically nothing other than heart to play for. While I’m not a proponent of paying student athletes, I am a proponent of having respect for these young athletes. How many times, during this tournament, will you catch yourself swearing at a television or computer screen? How many times will you catch yourself cursing the name of one of these young, gifted student athletes? While we like to be a society that points the finger at anything other than ourselves rather than rising up and accepting accountability, it’s time for us to at least start to build character, accept accountability and remember that not only are these young kids playing a child’s game, but they are someone’s kids. For instance, how would you feel if someone were to curse your child’s name based on a mistake during a sporting event. Ultimately, these are just sports. And while some of us use sports as a psychological escape from our real world, perhaps you’d be best off focusing on your faults, weaknesses and shortcomings rather than focusing on the faults, weaknesses and shortcomings of anyone else, let alone someone’s child.
So enjoy the games, build camaraderie among friends as you watch them, but watch them knowing that someone’s child is out there, playing their heart out for themselves, their team, their family and their future. And remember, it’s you stealing time from your employer in order to watch many of the games as they’re on during working hours. These kids are not playing for you.