Some would say I’m getting old. I prefer to say I have a seasoned perspective.
I was 10 years old before our family had a television. So I played outside. I was fourteen before we lived in a house with air conditioning, so I tolerate heat.
When I first learned to make a phone call, I picked up the instrument (which did not have even a rotary dial, if you know what that is) and told the operator what number I wished to call. Four digits, which you could ask for only if there was not already a conversation on the line.
And considering the alternatives, if my high school football coach had placed me or my teammates in a cool, dark room as punitive action -- given the alternatives -- we would have gone into a high-five frenzy. If we’d known what a “high-five” was.
So this is why, in my dated opinion, Adam James and his dad Craig are nothing more than crybabies who were not men enough to handle a contentious situation mano-a-mano.
But for them, it wasn’t enough simply to resolve their issues with now-former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and move on. And daddy Craig, through his ESPN connection, had the perfect venue to ruin Leach’s career -- notwithstanding Leach’s issues with Tech administrators.And here’s another aside. If you’ve read some of my stuff over the years, you’re well aware of my disdain for the new breed of people who reside under the too-broad blanket of “the media.” I resent being placed in the same category as many of them.
But among the many things I learned when I broke into this profession more than 40 years ago was that you never used your professional position for personal gain, for revenge as it were. You never, ever held your position over someone’s head. Never, ever say, “I work for the Daily Planet, and you’ll regret the day you crossed me.”
That is exactly what it appears to me the senior Crybaby James has done in conjunction with his position as ESPN commentator. But then he’s only a mouthpiece, a talking head, not to be confused with a working journalist. I can think off-hand of less than a handful of those who draw their checks from that organization who do so qualify.
And as a relic of another time, I have to laugh at the concept of what some today perceive to be inhumane treatment at the hands of coaches. On any given Monday after a loss on my junior high or high school teams, we went through a mini-version of The Junction Boys summer camp.
We called it “Black and Blue Monday,” which was apt description.
When I was still early in junior high, our high school head coach, who I later played for, once conducted belly-tackling drills at halftime of a game in which he felt his team was giving less than proper effort. And did so in full view behind the stadium scoreboard.
As I recall, no one whined. Players or parents.
These were the days when no one drank water just because he wanted to. I think we had two practice water breaks, during which we were advised merely to rinse and spit. And here I admit to being a cheater. One of my best friends was the head trainer, who used to keep a water-soaked towel in the hip pocket of his shorts, which was available for those who could sneak up behind him and bite into it hoping to squeeze out some moisture.
During practice scrimmage situations on those Black and Blue Mondays, those who weren’t in the action jogged around the practice field until called upon. Or endured the infamous “Oklahoma drill,” which we called Blood Alley. Some of you who played in the same era know what I'm talking about.Again, no one whined to our mommies and daddies, or to the school principal. Sure, we complained and moaned among ourselves. But no one thought about trying to get our coach fired. We endured, and wore those bruises as a badge of courage.
How unenlightened we were.
-- Mike Jones