[Marxism] Blog post: Playing To Win

michael yates mikedjyates at msn.com
Tue May 6 06:03:13 MDT 2014


Full at http://cheapmotelsandahotplate.org/2014/05/05/playing-win/



"When I was a boy, I loved sports. Baseball was my passion, and I could be found in the backyard, even in the middle of winter, endlessly throwing a rubber-coated baseball into the air and hitting it as far as I could with my bat. I played organized ball from the age of nine to twenty-two, in Little League, Pony League, American Legion, High School, College, and in town leagues. When I began teaching, basketball became my new sports obsession, and I played seven days a week for many years.



In a working class town, excellence in sports was much prized, and for me, helped secure my budding “manhood.” It greatly aided my desire to fit in, to be considered someone who was physically tough. Sports allowed me to be good at something and respected at the same time. Academic excellence wasn’t even a close second.



It was impossible then, in the 1950s ane 1960s, just as it probably still is, to be sports-crazy and not worship competition. When I played, I wanted to win. Defeat bothered me; there was never a game that I didn’t do whatever I could to win. This often led me to behave badly. I had no sympathy for teammates whose performance was below par. I’d yell and scream at them. Once when I was fifteen and pitching in an important contest, our third baseman dropped an easy pop fly. I shouted an obscenity at him. My father was watching the game and was so angry at my outburst that he came onto the field and told me to apologize. To little effect, however; I wasn’t chastened and didn’t change my behavior." . . . 		 	   		  



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