- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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What does SPORTS ILLUSTRATED have against hockey or, more specifically, the NHL? I just finished your harangues in the May 16 issue (Theater of the Absurd and POINT AFTER) and decided I could not stand it anymore. I agree that the whereabouts of NHL president Ziegler during the referee- Jim Schoenfeld crisis was relevant, but calling the NHL a "leaderless joke" and saying the Stanley Cup is now "devalued" is simply wrong and a cheap shot.
As the father of two teenage sons who are active in sports. I feel it is important that we consider more seriously the deleterious effects competition can have on young athletes. Articles like Bil Gilbert's help us keep sports in perspective.
I also enjoyed Rob Day's illustrations. Is there any chance you can show us more?
?Here's one more. Day painted this picture in response to former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden's statement to Gilbert. "Yes, I think competition can build character. But it can also tear it down."—ED.
I've been coaching elementary school children for 15 years. You summed up my philosophy that children should derive enjoyment from participation in a game, not from the result. I use all of my players in games to give them an opportunity to gain experience and to improve themselves. If encouraged, a child who is the last player off the bench one year could be the first off the bench the next. Granted, our softball team hasn't won any championships, but we have been over .500. Last season one girl who was 1-for-28 on the year, with 22 strikeouts, hit a grand slam against the first-place team. We lost that particular battle, but not the war.
I am an elementary school physical-education teacher who is involved in a program of administering a Soviet youth-fitness test to U.S. students for the purpose of comparing the fitness levels of the children from the two countries. Although the program is not a competition, a lot of my children think it is. I believe this feeling of competition is innate. It is a form of self-discovery and is essential to growth and development.