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Front Page » December 30, 2008 » Opinion » Sports Stuff
Published 2,039 days ago

Sports Stuff


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By GARY ARRINGTON
Sports writer

We all love going to ball games. We like the atmosphere, we like the competition, we like seeing people excel, we love cheering for our team and we love booing the opposing team.

We watch college football almost everyday of the week; we watch NFL football up to four days a week. Baseball, whether high school, college, major or minor league, we can watch everyday of the year if we want to. Basketball is the same way; high school, college or professional is available for our viewing pleasure every single day.

With the saturation of sports everywhere, we now have the explosion of those people who think they can coach or those who think they can referee and umpire. It all looks so simple. Anybody can do it, right?

Well looks can be and usually are deceiving. Those on the field in the heat of the battle are not as incompetent as we sometimes believe.

The officials and the coaches are part of the game; they are on the field doing their best just as the competitors are. Coaches and officials do not have the luxury of instant replay or slow motion or Monday morning quarterbacking.

Officiating is hard. There are always more players on the court or the field than there are officials and try as hard as you can, you cannot and do not see everything.

Coaching is interesting as you try to take many individuals and convert them into one cohesive team. Coaching is also hard. A coach has so many duties that it would be hard to list them all on one piece of paper. A coach is a teacher and a counselor and a confidant and a friend and on and on and on. Coaches make schedules and prepare ball fields for play and outfit players with uniforms and coordinate officials and concessions and announcing and clock officials and scorekeepers and grounds people and so on.

And of course we all know that coaches coach and officials officiate for the money. That is a great source of income as both professions are highly compensated for their time and effort. We all would love that income.

And then there is high school sports and reality. After travel expense of getting to practice everyday, an average coach probably makes a few cents an hour. Not only are they severely underpaid, they are expected to perform perfectly each and everyday.

And junior high sports are even worse. Although there is still compensation, miniscule as it may be, there is still compensation but often you coach by yourself or with minimal help.

Appreciate what it is because it is all for the love of the game. Next time you see a junior high or high school coach tell them thanks. The same with officials, extend your hand and say good job. Be grateful that a few are willing to sacrifice for us all. For without them, we would have nothing.

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December 30, 2008
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