by Kent Sterling
Parents are blinded by love for their children. They act like narcissistic idiots, only interested in viewing the world through the prism of what’s best for the child.
It’s a given that parents will misbehave. If you ask 100 youth or high school sports coaches what they believe is the worst part of their work, 100 will respond “Parents!” That’s life.
What they rarely need to deal with are cowardly idiots. Most make their frustrations known, and loudly.
A parent or parents of a Noblesville player circulated a flyer this week to call for Noblesville High School to fire basketball coach Dave McCollough because of a laundry list of grievances that includes serving as “slave labor” at camps and concession stands. The rest of the issues are equally silly.
The list of grievances aren’t worth discussing. They reflect the attitude of entitlement that parents have adopted over the past few years. Everyone’s child is now a miracle of God’s handiwork, and anyone who doesn’t understand that their child is the most special in the world should be disciplined, sued, or fired.
We are in a very litigious age. People have attorneys on speed dial for the most innocuous physical or mental insult. It’s been decided that the greatest weakness any of us can show is admitting an error or developing an understanding that life doesn’t always unfold the way we would prefer – for ourselves or for our children.
The tragedy of this flyer and the hubbub surrounding it is that there is a kid out there – people know who he is – with a parent setting an example so cowardly that he will undoubtedly be punished by teammates and friends for this flyer being written and distributed throughout a fairly close-knit community.
A stand taken anonymously is worthy of scorn. It is cowardly and foolish. If you are unwilling to say out loud what you believe, your belief isn’t worth saying. If you aren’t willing to sign your name to what you write, it should not be written at all.
There is a reason this website is named kentsterling.com. I want absolutely no confusion whatsoever who believes what is written here. What is in my head winds up unvarnished on kentsterling.com. I believe it. I write it. And if you disagree with it, you know exactly with whom you disagree.
Because my name is on it, I hold myself to a standard of fairness and decency. Granted, it’s my own standard, but that’s the point. Without a name, whatever pops into a fool’s brain can wind up spilling into millions of computers and smart phones without any accountability or potential consequence.
That can only bring misery for the readers and the author – as is the case with the silly and ill-conceived flyer.
The writer has been correctly given a dose of humility in the media – by 1070 The Fan’s Dan Dakich in particular. Listening to his show yesterday, Dan enjoyed levying a consequence against the author. That’s Dan’s wheelhouse, and the reason he’s such an effective host. He demands justice, and is unafraid to bring to bear the full muscle of 50,000 watts and statewide listenership.
There are means available for parents to assert their warped beliefs. Conversations can occur with the athletic director, principal, or God forbid the source of the discontent himself. Perhaps this parent did discuss his issue with the people who hold those positions or McCollough, and then went rogue when his complaint wasn’t handled to his satisfaction. We don’t know that, but what is clear is that frustration found its way into mailboxes without a signature, and without any notion of the level of discomfort it would bring to the author or his and/or her son.
Whether Dave McCollough is a good, bad, cruel, or kind coach is not an issue here. That the person trying to draw attention to his work as coach is petulant, myopic, cowardly, addlepated, and callous to his or her son is the only relevant point worth discussing.
As with all misbehavior, there is a lesson to be learned by all of us – but especially those who trust others to coach their sons and daughters – Life should be lived in a manner to which we would be proud to sign our name. The author of the flyer failed to do that – literally.