Michigan is a state of dichotomies, if I may use a big word like a drunken literature major. We are a state of automotive industry and sprawling farmland, a state with a hardcore Democratic center and a sea of rural Republicanism. It’s a land where there is little in common amongst its people, except two things: guns and sports.
An editorial article from Bridge Magazine said, “The calendar for the 2012-13 school year began on Aug. 6 and stretches all the way to June 15. Has Michigan finally and dramatically expanded the number of days that students will spend in public school classrooms? And therefore ended an era when a post-Labor Day start and varying degrees of snowfall could result in an academic year of fewer than 160 days? Nah. That calendar is for sports.”
Cue the rant. I blame the fact that our sports teams are so unpredictable as the cause for this change. If our sports teams were consistently good, people wouldn’t think this kind of change necessary. Then, Michigan’s citizens could enjoy a Labor Day weekend and not have to worry about a new generation of students with carpal tunnel syndrome.
I want the Lions to win this season. I also want steady employment, a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue and Summer Glau as my girlfriend. I also want the Eastern Michigan University Eagles to win, but again, I may as well wish for world peace and a mint condition Civil War era LeMatt revolver for my wall.
I’m not saying school sports are bad. There is a mountain of statistics and empirical evidence to refute that claim, and I don’t argue with math nerds. The problem arises when people shift priorities from a stable, long-term solution to an unstable pipe dream. Let’s go back to the math nerds for a minute.
It is very unlikely that every secondary school student involved in sports wants to or will get involved in college sports. It is therefore even more unlikely that any of them will have a professional career in sports. This means a priority of the schools becomes creating a generation of idiots who are unprepared for the real world.
Not that school has ever been good in that regard, but that’s not the point here. It’s one thing to make a generation a bunch of mindless drones taking standardized tests instead of actually learning. But to give education a backseat to sports is an insult to learning, students, teachers and of course, sports.
Students need to be prepared for the real world: A cruel, vicious place ruled by incompetent morons and puppet masters. It takes a brave soul to wander this world and thrive.
An entire generation of Americans is being trained to believe as long as they can toss a ball, they’re set for life. Someone needs to whack these kids upside the head with a dose of reality – preferably someone who’s undergone a criminal background check.
School boards aren’t the only culpable ones here, parents share the blame, too. With parenting becoming a lost art, both groups will need to work together to make sure education is the priority of schools, not sports. Maybe then we can make sure our future athletes are reliably good at their jobs, because I’m sick of losing bets on the Lions.