Kids Who Love Sports Are Depression-Proof

I read this today in the L A Times and just had to share.  I love Chris Erskine!!  What a wonderful writer.

Chris Erskine
March 5, 2009

With a little luck, my son’s T-ball team will remember this Not-So-Great Depression simply as a time they played ball twice a week and had a lot of fun. At the end of the game the parents would bring snacks. If the dads were worried, they didn’t show it . . . not much anyway. Not as much as they probably should have. When Dad seemed depressed, you dragged him out to the frontyard for a game of catch — to this day, the best free activity the world has ever known.
Yeah, I’m not sure what a sports-loving 6-year-old will carry away from this economic car wreck we’re witnessing. Will he remember his mom complaining about the escalating cost of rice? Or how Dad skipped his haircuts?
Will he remember spending fewer nights at Dodger Stadium, next to sis and her greasy-haired boyfriend? I suppose that’s one of the many glories of being a 6-year-old ballplayer — not having a big annoying frame of reference to deal with. When you’re 6, there’s no past. Every day is a good old day.
These kids, my son and his buddies, I love how they play ball — the way they pound the plate with the bat, the way they bounce up and down on first base after a hit, out-shining the sun. Yeah, they’re juiced. Box juiced.
If this is a Depression, they must think, what are the good times going to be like?
Will he remember rich men haggling over millions in baseball contract negotiations? A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real price hikes. Will he remember player unions concerned about everything except the fans?
Will he remember General Motors the way we recall the Brooklyn Dodgers, as something in the shadows of the memory, ethereal and distant?
Will he remember newspapers?
Personally, I think newspapers still have a decent shot, because too many people still prefer to touch the news, rub the headlines between their thumb and forefinger, clip and tear and save the things they love. You can’t line a hamster cage with a laptop. You can’t start a good Thanksgiving fire.
In our house, it has always been the Sports page first. From the time they could walk, I taught them how to read the Sports page over breakfast and use it like a blotter for spilled Cheerios.
Sure, you know how to read a Sports page, but they didn’t have a clue. You start with the smallest print, the box scores, then work your way up through the standings, the game stories, the columnists, the ads.
To borrow a late colleague’s line, a newsroom in distress is like a broken home. But, especially in tough times, it’s still a home — a sanctuary, a place where ideas are sifted and values shaped. It’s still a city’s conscience.
If the very thought of that zings you a little, there is still hope for newspapers. If you couldn’t care less, we might very well be doomed.
In the meantime, I’ll play the pie-eyed optimist. How will our kids grow up — the budding shortstops and quarterbacks, the gymnasts and the midfielders? They’ll grow up smiling, because as long as a kid has a ball to kick and a team to cheer, childhood will always be more than just OK. It will be seven flavors of grand. Because sports, like movies, gives us way more happy endings than real life.
Now, batter up . . .

I hope you enjoyed this.   9 days until Rascal Flatts !!!

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8 Responses to Kids Who Love Sports Are Depression-Proof

  1. Jude says:

    Hmmmm, interesting article. Hope you’ve been having a good week so far. Guess what it’s been doing up here? You’ll never guess, nope, not in a million years…’s SNOWING ffs!!!!! LOLI want spring. Now. hehe

  2. Beth says:

    I did enjoy it Bob. You are so keyed up over Rascal Flatts I sure hope you are not disappointed.Hugs,Beth

  3. Duckie says:

    That boy will always remember tossing the ball with his dad. Of that I am certain.

  4. Dana says:

    What a great story! I did enjoy it. When I was thirteen I played softball, I was the catcher, I also that summer was practicing roping my mailbox so I could be a cowgirl… being a kid is great.Wowee Rascall Flatts, you lucky kid!

  5. .. says:

    Thanks for the story. There are many to say about this, but from my experience in Canada … when I first arrived here, had noticed … NO KIDS PLAYING OUTSIDE WITH OTHER KIDS OR WITH THEIR PARENTS. That was a real shock for me. It looked like a ghost city w/out kids playing in the afternoons.Because sports, like movies, gives us way more happy endings than real life – I’ll remember this!!!! I really like it. Well said.Take care and have a super weekend! Alex x

  6. Sue says:

    Great article! Yes, baseball season is almost here! M is going up into the Juniors league this year, so I’m waiting patiently for practices to start. The Juniors don’t play until High School baseball is finished, so I can sit back and enjoy a few little league games in the meantime…oh boy!

  7. jenna says:

    Hi Bob,Sorry I’m not into baseball,, but hey!Is it still hot down there,, ha.Jenna

  8. Twila says:

    Great story Bob! Thanks for sharing! Sure wish I could figure a way to get K involved in baseball. He’ll be 7 this month and just doesn’t have much interest in any sports? I just don’t get it. We lived for baseball season….every spring/summer we played in our yard…BIG yard. I’ll keep hoping, I guess.Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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