Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Too much, too soon

Ok guys:
I was flipping through the television the other day when I came across the Little League World Series on ESPN.
I began to think, 'is this a good thing to be giving this kind of attention to children this young?'
It's an interesting question.
In this job I can cite numerous examples of young kids getting a whole lot of attention in the sports section of this newspaper, but we're talking ESPN, the largest sports broadcasting network in the world. It's great when your child's local newspaper recognizes him or her for his/her accomplishments.
But when it gets to the global stage, for these pre-teen kids I believe that's a little over the top.
There's something about seeing a young boy make an error in a Little League World Series game, then seeing it over and over again on replays, topped by getting a close-up of this kid crying that just screams, 'Enough is enough!'
The closest example I can give from my experiences here is several years ago, a local state Babe Ruth team was playing in the state tournament right here locally at Gruner Field. For days leading up to the final, I received several call from parents demanding "to do right by our boys" and cover them in the final.
Well, it was always our intention to cover this title game, but I hate being told we HAVE to do anything.
Anyway, we covered the game and the local team lost pretty badly. Well, I don't think it could not have been two hours after that final pitch when I took a call from one of those parents who called earlier in the week DEMANDING we not run a story or publish photos from the game because "it would scar those kids for the rest of their lives."
Obviously, we ran the story and photos, but when you're dealing with such young kids -- and some of their overprotective parents -- I really think we're crossing the line when it comes to giving these kids global television coverage.
Seeing the Little League champions celebrate a World Series title is nice, but I don't think it's nearly as sad as seeing the losing team being consoled on national television.
At some point, can't we just let kids be kids?
Just wondering.
Until next time, take care and -- as always -- God bless.

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