Plenty of sports to go around

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 3, 2000

Wise men have long asked, &uot;If a tree falls alone in a forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?&uot; Perhaps we can address this philosphical quandary by looking at a more local example.

&uot;If a receiver scores a touchdown in an empty stadium on a Friday night, do the points stay on the board?&uot;

Or a much better example would be, &uot;If a softball player hits a grand slam, and no fans are there to cheer on the effort, do the runs count?&uot;

Email newsletter signup

While the answers to those questions (well, the last two, anyway) are obvious to most of us, there are some absentee fans, friends and parents who might not know. That’s because they don’t show up.

Let me say now that the Miss-Lou community supports prep sports. I know this. I know that there are hundreds if not thousands of supportive parents and grandparents, friends and family, and outright fans who never miss a game. I applaud your loyalty to your schools and their students. I’m not talking to you.

I’m talking first to parents who don’t attend their children’s games.

Many parents have jobs or other such obligations that prevent them from making every game. Those parents are excused.

But I’ve had several coaches lament the fact that a lot of parents are just not interested in their children’s extra-curricular activities

That’s sad. I know how hard these players work in practice. It’s hot. Very hot. But drive by any high school in the area on your average Tuesday afternoon, and guess what you’ll see. Softball players doing batting drills. Football players running sprints. Band members marching up and down the field for hours in 100 degree heat.

Sports and activites such as these are voluntary, and the students should only participate if they’re having fun. But that shouldn’t take away from how hard they work.

Some teams will not make the play-offs. Some teams may not win a game.

It would be nice to know that these student-athletes will at least have a parent there who doesn’t care who wins or loses as long as his or her child played his or her best.

I know that the first people I looked for in the stands on Friday nights were my parents. I’d check for my friends goofing off high the bleachers a little later, but I always knew first where Mom and Dad were sitting.

Beleive me, it makes a difference.

The second group I’m going to admonish are alleged sports fans who do not attend high school sports.

These people watch ESPN’s SportsCenter three times a day, spend roughly 43 hours a weekend watching football and can tell you the starting line up of the 1962 Dodgers without batting an eye.

Yet this same group of people won’t shell out four bucks to watch a live football game in their own hometown.

This area is blessed with a ton of schools, so there is always an interesting game. Just this Friday, we had several football games decided in the last minutes of the contest.

So you don’t have the big names. Where do you think those names came from? While it may seem at times like they were genetically engineered at a secret NFL laboratory, they probably played high school ball somewhere.

A few of them may be playing ball right here, right now. Check ’em out. You can say you saw them when.

Nick Adams is sports editor at The Democrat. He can be reached at (601) 445-3632, or by e-mail at