Driving to work the other day I saw some school students engaged in a grueling game of kickball.
is played on a baseball diamond where a large, red inflatable rubber
ball is rolled from the pitcher's mound to home plate and the person
kicks the ball and runs the bases like they do in real baseball.
The ball is about the size of a basketball and even Stevie Wonder could
see it coming. I am not sure who invented this game or why, but I have
been part of this competition in my school days so I understand the
pressure these youngsters face.
If you kick at the ball and miss everyone – including the janitor – will laugh at you.
is meant to be a fun game designed to get kids some fresh air and
physical activity and for the most part it succeeds in this quest.
But because this game was a competition – even a fun one – there were a
few people in my school who took it far too seriously and acted like it
was the biggest game of their lives.
I call these people idiots. The
high school I went to was bristling with jocks who used to go around
pumping each other up for the big game – which was just about any game
these lunkheads were playing.
Personally I was geared more toward the fun aspect of sports rather than a rip-out-their-spleens-and-stomp-their-entrails kind of player.
the school was brimming with meatheads, er, I mean youth with athletic
ability and prowess, those with less-than skills were pariahs who were
to be shunned and ignored at all times – even if you had known each
other since Grade 1.
In my high school, if you were not a jock, you were nothing. I was a
quasi-jock, trapped in a no-man's land between an athlete and a dork
(well, a dork by their standards anyway.)
I was a decent hockey
player and I did alright at pretty much any sport I tried, but that was
not good enough in the land of super jocks.
You had to breath fire and poop lava. You had to show no mercy for your
weakling opponents as you crushed them without mercy – and that was just
For real sports like football and basketball – the two
mainstays of my school – you had to get fired up to the point where
your entire existence was based on how well you did on the plane of
If you weren't out there to win, to destroy and to decimate your opposition then get off the field.
OK, see ya later.
was alright with not being an elite athlete. I was tall and somewhat
athletic, but I really couldn't stand being around the jocks.
They treated non-jocks like crap, they were all very high on themselves
and they always had to travel in two buses – one for the players and one
for their egos.
Both of our gym teachers were also the coaches who tried to replace their team's success for their own failed athletic careers.
They were borderline psychotic when it came to sports and unless you were one of their jocks, you were nothing.
one of my school's super jocks took their careers beyond a college
level. No one turned pro, no one made a name for themselves in their
Many of them ended their careers with injuries and a sub-standard
education because they spent more time on the field that in the
I did not socialize with them in high school – I don't speak dumbass – and I certainly have not sought them out since.
But as I look at life now with my beautiful wife and three amazing kids,
the old high school athletic glory seems pointless, proving I was right
not to give a fat rat's butt back then, much like I do now.