“For sports, schools are the place to be”

Twenty reasons junior and high-school sports are better than the pros...

“Twenty reasons junior and high-school sports are better than the pros: 1) Junior-high volleyball players don’t go on strike. 2) The chances of your favorite high-school athlete throwing you through a plate-glass window are low. 3) Athletes who wave to their moms. While they’re playing. 4) Moms who wave back. 5) In school sports, the mascots usually are somehow associated with the team’s nickname. I mean, really …. the Mariner MOOSE? 6) Shawn Kemp demands a hundred million dollars. High school basketball players occasionally ask for pizza after the game. 7) Two words: Albert Belle. 8) During professional sporting events, they feel as if fans need to be told when to clap. During school sports they assume you’re smart enough to know that. 9) On that note, high schools have fight songs. Professional sports play Rock You Like a Hurricane until you want to vomit like LInda Blair in The Exorcist. 10) If you go to a high school concession stand, some mom or dad is volunteering at the register, freezing so the team can buy a few uniforms. If you go to a concession stand at a pro event, you’ll leave wearing a barrel. 11) When kids say, I just want to help the team, they mean it. 12) When high-school coaches talk, they have the authority to make kids listen. You won’t see Benoit Benjamin running any laps for talking back. Now that I think of it, you won’t see Benoit Benjamin running any laps, ever. 13) There’s very little risk of ZZ Top performing at a high-school football halftime spectacular. 14) Kids on opposite teams giving each other high-fives. 15) The urgency of tryouts. 16) Coaches who are also guidance counselors. Or lawyers. Or doctors. But they volunteer because they want to. 17) Two more words: Pep rallies. 18) Kids who don’t play, but run at 100 MPH in practice. 19) That kid you never noticed, the one who’s about a half-foot too short and thirty pounds too light and maybe a step and a half too slow, the one who has sat the bench for three years, making the huge play to win the game. 20) Athletes who wait for their parents to give them a ride home after the game. “