DEAR NCAA: DID YOU FORGET THAT YOU’RE IN CHARGE?

It’s a weird world that we live in now. Surely, I can’t be the only one who feels this way? The NCAA has become a major pushover, TikTok is the hottest black market drug in the social media world, and butterflies apparently have a lifespan of 3 – 5 days. How cruel is that … 3 – 5 days?! Some of them are born without a mouth, and thus without the ability to eat. If that doesn’t traumatize you, do you even have a soul? I, for one, would be devastated if I finally glowed up out of my caterpillar-looking self and couldn’t eat. Ever again. What’s the point of being beautiful if you can’t eat food? Not a tradeoff I would take. In fact, I would probably be ok looking like Shrek as long as I could have my midnight Cheez-Its. He has Fiona, an entire swamp, multiple children, and a talking donkey. Oh, and food, obviously. 

Maybe that’s why King Farquaad is always so angry? Instead of eating gingerbread, he maims them and throws them away. Tragic. Kind of like what’s happening with collegiate athletics’ supposed juggernaut of a leadership entity. Recently, there’s been a push for them to take a step back from every single potentially political, disruptive, or triggering decision in favor of ambiguity. That’s fun. Instead of being the bad parent, they would rather be best friends with all of their children. The problem here, though, is that you can’t be a good parent without knowing when to lay down the law. Drop the hammer. Let your children cry it out in their cribs all night if that’s what it takes. Because, eventually, they will stop.

Watching an authoritative organization try to make everyone happy is like watching a ticking bomb. I’m guessing, I’ve never watched a ticking bomb. I choose not to put myself in those situations. For safety. The longer you do nothing, the closer you are to the explosion. And when you’re one group trying to hoard off the (dead) masses, it becomes a lot like the epic battle of WINTERFELL. Except without the Hollywood underdog win. Why does everyone hate the NCAA? Quite simply, because they’ve become soft.

They do a lot, but at the end of the day, their responsibility is to govern member organizations. Now, in their defense, they are definitely governing. But they’re copying the wrong example of a government. Pushing decisions off and hoping they resolve themselves is not proactive, or reactive. It’s passive. And no one wants a passive leader. We put you in charge for a reason. Because we, the people, don’t want to make these decisions. Should we play sports this fall? Well that feels a lot like something that needs to be dictated across the board. Whatever ridiculousness is happening right now with conferences, and schools, making their own choices is a recipe for a riot. 

Nebraska thinks they’re Notre Dame. College students are starting petitions to undermine their conference decisions. Parents are getting involved and you know you’ve lost control when parents are talking to ESPN. Parents are arguably one of the worst parts of all sports from youth up through professional. The last thing anybody wants, sports fans or not, is to turn on SportsCenter and hear commentary from the parent of a second string Linebacker. Your child is now an adult. They need to fight their own battles. Better yet, let the coaching staff do their jobs and fight those battles for the team.

I don’t blame the parents, though, for being upset and not wanting their kid to miss an opportunity. I don’t blame the players for wanting to play. I don’t blame the coaching staff for wanting answers. All of the blame can be easily put in one place. No matter what you do, people are going to be upset. That’s just life. Trying to play every angle, however, leads to everyone being pissed at you. Especially since you can’t really crown a champion with over half of the contenders not currently having a season. That’s like saying Florida State won March Madness because they won the ACC Championship. LOL please! They weren’t even the most competitive conference. Now feels like a good spot for me to step back from this post before my competitive troll side emerges. In a move of pure authority, I’m ending it.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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NO, I’M SORRY, LIFE DOESN’T GIVE OUT PARTICIPATION TROPHIES – GROW UP

Where did we go wrong? The next generation of “adults” have been raised to believe that everyone is a winner. Um … everyone is not a winner. There has to be a loser. That’s how this works. I understand that all of us aren’t into sports, but that’s no excuse not to brace your children for the reality that is life. If we all got what we wanted just for waking up and putting on clothes, though, the world would be chaos. Everyone would be in their dream job, married to their celebrity crush, and financially very well off.

For those of us born before 2000, we can remember a time when there was no gray zone. If you didn’t win, you lost. And you may have been sad, you may have cried, but you learned from that. You learned that you had to be better. Or you would not win. You would not get a trophy just for being there and taking the team picture.  No one would lie to you about your potential in that particular field. Life was good.

Then, at some point earlier this century, someone decided that their kid was not a loser. And no one could tell them that they were a loser. Parents started putting their children’s feelings in a perfect little bubble so they could never be sad. But then school started, and those kids had a social awakening and life, as they knew it, was over. Enter the participation trophy. Return the sheltered children to where they belong – in a fantasy. In my head, the participation trophy is something that will be heavily examined by the future humans of Earth. Much like our fascination with the caveman and their discovery of fire.

In my (limited) experience as an adult, here is how the real world works once one outgrows their youth, laid out in several fun and traumatizing scenarios:

  • Missed Project Deadline
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Declined for a Promotion
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be receiving one
  • Late to Work
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Waiting in Line for the New iPhone, but they Run Out
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be receiving one
  • Failure to Meet your Goals
    • You get in trouble because you let the team down!
    • Possibly fired, depending on the level of recurrence
  • Rejected by Your Crush
    • Suck it up buttercup – they don’t care about your tears!
    • You will not be dating them

In summary, you get in trouble, possibly fired, and have to suck it up because the world doesn’t care about your tears. I could go on, but I believe those get my point across. Participation does not teach lessons, it prevents important lessons from being learned. And outside of youth recreational competitions (sports, spelling bees, science fairs, chess tournaments, mini golf, the arcade down the street, etc.), it doesn’t really apply. Losing is a good thing! It’s an external factor giving immediate feedback that what we did did not work. Which leads to progress and change and, eventually, winning! For real, though, like in a way that you actually earned. And that is the most rewarding feeling ever.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who actively promotes the “participation” game, tell them to stop it! Or, better yet, share this informative post with them so they can understand why they should stop it. The kids will thank you, but more importantly the world will thank you. Thanks for reading!


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I FREQUENTLY COMPLETE MARATHONS…BINGE WATCHING MARATHONS

Marathon runners confuse me. Actually, runners in general confuse me. I’ve done my fair share of running and can’t say that I find it enjoyable. Every time I have to go for a run, I try to find a GOOD EXCUSE to get out of it. With all the different options available for cardio, it’s not my top choice. Or even in my top few choices. It hurts my knees.

Running a 5K is hard – that’s why there’s so many couch to 5K training plans out there. Because it isn’t easy. Anything past that is pure torture. Why run 6.2, 10, or 13.1 miles when you could just not? You could just choose to bike, or swim, or stair step, or use an elliptical, or do strength training, or HIIT, or literally ANYTHING else! And those are just the tip of the running iceberg.

I don’t even like driving 26.2 miles as that is just a long ways. So why on Earth would I want to run that distance? Spoiler alert: I do not. For the elite, that takes what, 2 hours? 2 HOURS! OF RUNNING! WITHOUT A BREAK! I couldn’t even tell you the last time I ran for 2 hours in a week, let alone at one time. But that’s the elite – it takes normal people much longer.

In case it wasn’t clear, I am not a marathon runner. I am, however, great at binge-watching marathons. Put me in front of a TV for 2 hours and I don’t even blink (not actually because that seems highly unnatural, but you get the point). The invention of auto-play is the best, most unhealthy thing that has graced the streaming empires.

Although, I’m not a fan of the Netflix troll. “Are you still watching?” Take your judgement somewhere else. Yes, I am still watching. Have you noticed that the amount of episodes you can watch before that message comes up has shortened? It used to be 6, but now after 4 in a row it gets sassy. Maybe it’s part of the initiative to encourage physical activity…like running. Or maybe it’s just a way of encouraging you to do survival things like eat, drink, use the bathroom, find a window to see the outdoors, etc.

Maybe I tend to be more prepared than most people. If I know it’s about to be a long night with me, my feelings, and some (hopefully) decent television, I put snack options and at least two drinks on the table in front of me. Then I cocoon myself in a blanket, curl into the smallest possible ball that I can (it’s almost like a challenge between me and myself now), and make sure I can reach everything without moving. I’m not an animal though, I do pause when needed for bio breaks. So there’s no need to ask if I’m still watching. I will tell YOU when I’m done…don’t worry about me.

Internet trolling is a fun topic to dissect, but that’s not the point of this post so I will withhold the rest of my sentiments there. Personally, I believe that everyone can be a binge-watching champ. There’s a streaming service for everyone (you can find out which one I like best in THIS POST). Almost as if Oprah went to the TV world offices and was like “You know what? Monopolizing this market seems unfair. So, Amazon – you get a streaming service! Disney – you get a streaming service! YouTube – you get a streaming service! Apple – you get a streaming service! EVERYONE GETS A STREAMING SERVICE!

Sometimes I walk into my office and adapt this giving mentality. Melissa – you get one of my tasks! Joe – you get to finish one of my projects! Karen – you get to buy me lunch today! Nathan – you get to have the one-on-one with my manager! EVERYONE GETS TO DO MY WORK TODAY! Surprisingly, I have yet to experience the same amount of overwhelming thanks that Oprah always seems to receive…most curious. I feel like I say it the exact same way with very different results.

Long story short, anyone can be a marathoner. Maybe not a physical marathoner, but horizontal running is a thing thanks to Fat Amy. So sit that hiney on the couch, prep with all the necessary fluids, carbs, and proteins in an easy to reach place, get your hydration station ready, and click that power button on the remote.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who enjoys running, give them that look that says “What’s wrong with you?”. Then continue to not torture yourself and instead, enjoy yourself. Thanks for reading!


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