Last updated: February 13. 2014 2:04PM - 960 Views

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I have thought about writing this column for a while. As I watch sports on a daily basis I see so much that really makes me wonder, “What are we teaching our kids?” When they watch a game, what are they seeing? What will they copy when they get chance to play?

The culture of sports has changed so much over the last couple of decades. In every football or basketball game that I watch, I see actions that I feel are unnecessary, narcissistic, and just plain old stupid. And to top it all off, the television networks and their analysts seem to condone the actions and give some reason for what is going on.

You may ask what I am speaking of. Well let me explain what I mean. I watch this Sherman guy from the Seattle Seahawks come on TV and spout off about how great he thinks he is and how another player is no good. He answers no questions but simply mouths off about himself. That really what we need to hear? Do you think our kids saw that and learned any positive behavior traits?

On about half of the plays in an NFL game, somebody is trash-talking, mouthing, gyrating, dancing, or getting face-to-face in another player’s facemask. When they make a tackle they make it a point to step over the other player when they get to their feet. It’s a subtle thing, but on that is being picked up by our youth. Personally, I’m really tired of these kinds of actions. Players are paid to make these plays.They don’t have to prance around and make a fool of themselves. I saw what happened, they don’t have to make a scene.

As a youth I watched players in all sports and wanted to be like them. Our youth of today are doing the same thing. I wanted to be able to run like Mickey Mantle, throw a football like Johnny Unitas, and shoot a basketball like Jerry West. I never saw any of these guys, or many more that I admired, dance around after a home run, a touchdown, or a long jump shot. These guys had class! That seems to be a lost art!

When the youth of today watch a football or basketball game on TV they see all of this sickening behavior. Why wouldn’t they copy these guys? As long as we as sports fans allow these guys to act this way, our kids will follow. Coaches need to take control of their players and stop this “look at me” attitude. It’s a team game.

Oh, these guys have all of the excuses. You have to play with an emotional edge, or I was caught up in the moment, or I just had to let that emotion out. Do you buy these as reasons to act like a fool? I understand that everyone needs to show some emotion, but all of the stuff that I see going on is way beyond acceptable for me.

I was at a 12-year old basketball game recently and saw a player hit a long shot at the end of a quarter. He then dropped both of his arms to his side and proceeded to strut around like a peacock, embarrassing himself and angering his opponent. I wonder where he saw this kind of action?

And now many of the NFL players want medical marijuana legalized. It is illegal in the league. A response from a leading NFL player was, “We’re going to use it anyway, so you might as well legalize it.” That’s a good message for our youth. It’s alright to use an illegal drug as long as you don’t get caught.

And finally I may be rambling into a touchy area but I’m tired of all of the tattoos. I have no problem with a small tattoo but when a player’s entire arm and neck is covered with ink, it’s a bit sickening. It is defacing one’s body and it’s gotten way out of hand. Many of these college players complain that they have no money and should be paid. Well, many of them have enough money to have hundreds of dollars worth of tattoos on their body.

I am just concerned about what our youngsters learn when they watch sports. Kids are watching and they will imitate what they see. Things have probably already gone too far, but I wish the coaches would clean this up. Maybe I’m asking too much in the culture we live in today!

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