Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The athletics and church thing One poster took me to task for being overly gleeful at a coach's expense when three of his players really wanted to participate in children's choir this past Saturday. I did feel badly that a few kids were put in the position of making a very tough call of basketball or singing at church. In a parish where, for this particular age group, athletes outnumber choristers at least 100 to 15, I don't think my surprise registers much more on the Richter scale than a BCS team giving up a touchdown to a I-AA team while leading 42-0. In an ideal situation, the parish athletic director, coaches, school music and drama teachers, and parish liturgist would compare the year's schedules, clear up potential conflicts and relieve young kids of difficult decisions -- or at least as many as possible. Sport is still King in the American culture, and I don't kid myself that if I wanted to get "competitive" over it, I'm going to lose 63-7 just about every time. I never took advantage of the opportunities I had to join an organized team, try out for band or a play, or things like that when I was a boy. Between my mom being terrified of sports, and my own stage fright sensibility, I kept to myself and never stretched myself into daring things until my college days. But I think it's a good thing for a kid to be balanced if the schedule is not too demanding. A dancer who happens to play hockey, a wide receiver who toots a mean trumpet, a musical lead running track: these are good ways to raise children. And if musicians were to ever get a media spectacular like this coming Sunday, I wouldn't complain.

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