DOH’mer of the week: No Mercy

What is it that separates a child from an adult? In the words of lawmakers, an adult has the mental capacity to make responsible decisions, and are better prepared to face the consequence of their actions. An 18-year old is responsible enough to cast a vote and elect the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. They are also responsible enough to enlist in the service, tote a weapon, and fight and die in war. But then you have two things 18-year olds aren’t mentally prepared to do. One is to purchase or consume alcohol. The other is to get the shit kicked out of them on a softball diamond.

Through my parents, I was constantly told that girls mature faster than boys—and so be it.  That explained why girls my age were three feet taller and didn’t like me or my GI Joe.  Through professionals, I learned the progress of maturity.  I learned that the brain’s frontal lobe doesn’t fully develop until we reach the age of 25. Maybe this is why auto insurance rates decrease when you reach that magic number. And through Tom Hanks and “A league of their own”, I also learned that there is no crying in baseball.

If a child loses a game, teardrops may fall. If he or she loses by 10 runs, they may bawl. Wax that child by 20 or more runs, and it’s highly probable that your lovable loser won’t ever want to play the sport again. So, for the sake of a child, and his or her future in athletics, I think a mercy rule is proper.—Following?

But where do we draw the line and allow the aging child to take an ass kicking like an adult? If 18-years signify the age of adulthood, and girls mature faster than boys, why is there a mercy rule in college softball?

Earning a playoff spot is an accomplishment. You enter with the season behind and a possible championship ahead. Why is it that we don’t allow rallies and miraculous comebacks, as we do in other sports? Why do we take the bats out their hands (though they weren’t putting them to good use) and deny the fight? To hell with preaching “leave it all out on the field”. To hell with “giving it all you’ve got” and “no surrender”. It’s all bullshit, whenever it’s a scoreboard, and not the formal length of the contest, that determines a game’s end. Excuse me for being a firm believer in “anything can happen”, but Tom Hanks also taught me that shit does.

Before you go on to tell me the mercy rule is also utilized in college baseball, I’ll also tell you that a lot of athletes outside of that sport believe the guys on the diamond wear cups manufactured by Tampax.—So slow your roll and don’t even go there.

Anyone watching  football and basketball games can see that they are allowed to throttle opponents by 40, 50, even 60 points or more.  If a mercy rule were applied to the NCAA basketball tournament, games played between the No. 1 and No. 16 seeds would never be played to the full duration of 40 minutes. Are pigskin and hardwood athletes more mature and better prepared to handle humiliation? By the pages of Title IX, I would think everyone is equally deserving of an ass whoopin’ every now and then. Are they not? Where is Billie Jean and her “fair is fair”, when you need her?

Look, I already know the NCAA has many flaws, beginning with the fact that they have no playoff format for football. But I feel a playoff system is broken, in any sport, if you don’t allow a fight to the end. I don’t want to hear about time limits or any other crap. You play to win the game. The keyword is “play”, so let’s do it without stoppage and the Doh’merfied result.—Capiche?

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~ by Anthony on May 22, 2010.

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