The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

August 24, 2013

Really, there’s nothing wrong with winning

Everyone likes a winner, right? Winning should be celebrated. Well, apparently winning isn’t always a good thing in the minds of some people, or at least too much winning.

Imagine if somebody asked Alabama to “step aside” this college football season to let somebody else win, because, well, they were just too good and the Crimson Tide’s winning was discouraging others.

While Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Big 12 faithful wouldn’t mind seeing ‘Bama kicked to the curb, it would seem awfully hollow if the only way a school outside of Tuscaloosa claimed a title was as a result of the defending champ being barred from competing because they were too good.

Sound ridiculous? Absolutely. But, something along those lines was recently being advocated, albeit not on the playing field. No, in this case the big, bad bully was a 9-year-old bookworm.

 Hudson Falls, N.Y., fifth-grader Tyler Weaver owns a championship winning streak that would be the envy of any sports program, team or athlete. Weaver is a voracious reader, so much so that he just claimed his sixth straight “Dig Into Reading” contest sponsored by the Hudson Falls Public Library, which holds the annual competition to encourage kids to read during their summer vacation.

Weaver takes his reading seriously. During the most recent six-week period covered by the annual contest, the 9-year-old, who calls himself the “king of the reading club,” read 63 books, an average of more than 10 per week.

Since kindergarten, Weaver has read 373 books over the previous five contests according to his mom, as reported by the Glens Falls Post-Star newspaper.

“It feels great,” Weaver said in a post-victory celebration. Well, OK, it wasn’t a victory party, but it should have been. I don’t know if I have read 373 books over my lifetime.

To verify a student has read the books, he is required to answer a random question on the book. Weaver hasn’t missed yet. For his reward, Weaver has won an array of prizes ranging from an atlas to a T-shirt.

But, here’s the kicker. Library director Marie Grandon seriously suggested Weaver “step aside” to let others win. She accused Weaver of “hogging” the competition every year and said he should step aside because others are discouraged.

Here’s a different suggestion to the other students: Do better. Don’t like the results? Try harder, and you know what, if you can’t beat him, maybe you just aren’t good enough.

Grandon’s suggestion thankfully was rejected by other parents and she backed down.

But the suggestion is reflective of a malady that has found its way into organized sports across the country, where we discourage winning, or at least too much of it, by assuming there must be some insidious reason behind it, instead of celebrating it and encouraging others to follow a winning example.

Such notions have crept into sports. Some youth soccer leagues, including at least one in this area, actually discourage winning. If a team is too good, it is punished by being forced to move into a higher age group. Of course, youth sports have sadly been besieged by do-gooders who also believe keeping score is harmful.

In life, there are winners and losers. Who are we to have the audacity to take away the joy of winning and treat it as something to be ashamed?

Vince Lombardi wouldn’t recognize today’s America.

Ruthenberg is sports editor at the News & Eagle. Contact him at daver@enidnews.com

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Baseballpicture.jpg Majors open regional with Cherry Creek

    The Enid Majors (36-12) enter the Connie Mack South Plains Regional Tournament today at David Allen Memorial Ballpark coming off one of their best seasons in the past few years. Now, the pressure is on as they face Cherry Creek, Colo.,at 8:15 tonight.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Enid Event Center_28_BV.jpg Ballpark to observe Military Appreciation Night

    David Allen Memorial Ballpark hosts Military Appreciation Night tonight during the 6 and 8:15 games of the Connie Mack South Plains Regional Tournament.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Rory McIlroy: There's a new tiger in town

    His father introduced him to the game when he was small, putting a golf club in his hand when he was barely past the toddler stage.
    He fell in love with it and worked hard, improving steadily. He became a terrific junior player and quickly improved.
    He was touted as the next big thing and didn’t disappoint.
    Now, at the tender age of 25, he is a multiple major champion.
    Tiger Woods? Yes, once upon a tee time. But now those words are being spoken about Rory McIlroy.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days.jpg Gundy has big plans for Hill

    The picture became a little clearer Monday of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briles: Baylor swinging for the fences

    Coach Art Briles and Baylor arrived at Big 12 football media days as defending champions for the first time.
    Briles has a slightly different take on the Bears’ newfound standing.

    July 21, 2014

  • Radio-TV for 7-22-14

    July 21, 2014

  • Big12.jpg Big 12 commissioner says 'change is coming' in college sports

    That was the theme of Monday's state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Worrell takes 8th at Firekeeper Classic

    July 20, 2014

  • Fowler happy with runner-up finish

    For ex-Oklahoma State star Rickie Fowler, this is getting downright familiar.
    He’s not complaining.
    For the second time this summer, Fowler played in the final group of a major championship, failed to overcome a big deficit, and settled for the runner-up spot.

    July 20, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days start today

    The new-look Big 12 is ready for some football.  
    OK, the conference’s logo is what’s new this year. There are no changes in the makeup or format of the 10-team league, the only power conference with a round-robin schedule that determines a champion without an extra game.

    July 20, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos


Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at http://enidnews.smugmug.com.