Friday Fable. Lubans’ “Misplaced Pity”.

Posted by jlubans on February 21, 2014

Caption: What it’s like to play football in the steel-mill and coal mining state of Pennsylvania.

In a folly-filled freshman year at my Pennsylvania undergraduate college (Lebanon Valley College, by name ) I went out for the football team; that’s American football, the “smash mouth” variety. Why? Well a popular song from a bygone era sums it up: “You gotta be a football hero.”
The first drill for newbies like me was to block out another player. Now blocking is not tackling, but it is hitting the opposing player and impeding his movement, taking him out of the action. Ideally, you knock him off his feet. The player I was to block was about a foot shorter and 30 pounds less in weight than me. And, he looked kind of goofy. I felt sorry for the guy. We lined up and I took it easy. Big mistake. The little guy crashed into me like a mini bulldozer and knocked me flat. As I struggled up I wondered how many times he did that to larger players sappy enough to feel sorry for him. I wondered if looking goofy was a cultivated piece of his player persona!

So, play with respect for your opponent. Pitying someone on his or her appearance is disrespectful and puts you and your organization at a serious disadvantage.

Friday’s Library: Pollack Library, Yeshiva University
New York City.

In Canada, do the Ontario Library Association a favor and buy Leading from the Middle at the OLAStore*.

Copyright John Lubans 2014
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